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Wednesday, June 15, 2005 

AOL - Zombie Army

Zombie army camped out on AOL, report says

Internet "zombie" attacks that attempt to knock computer systems offline are more likely to come from users of America Online than any other source, according to a new report.

AOL and other large Internet service providers serve as launching pads for most denial of service attacks, according to a report released Tuesday by Prolexic Technologies, which helps companies fend off such attacks.

Other top sources of such attacks include T-Mobile's German-based service; Wanadoo, a French Internet provider; and Comcast.

Prolexic's chief technology officer, Barrett Lyon, said the report could indicate that some Internet providers don't protect their customers as much as EarthLink and other companies that don't show up on the list.

"Their clients may be exposed differently, or they may be doing a poor job of filtering certain things from their clients," Lyon said, referring to AOL and the other providers named in the report.

But such figures only show that AOL has a much larger user base than other Internet providers who account for nearly as many attacks, company spokesman Andrew Weinstein said.

"This survey is a huge victory for our members. If they're three-to-four times less likely to be compromised than their peers, that's not a bad thing," Weinstein said.

AOL provides antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall services for its members, and those who are compromised probably haven't updated their software recently, he said.

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