Comcast and Spam

I’ve got to admit I like this idea. Comcast has what might be a very good solution.

A great little bit here in CNET’s wonderful article.

Based on my conversations last week, Comcast’s network engineers would like to be more aggressive. But the marketing department shot down a ban on port 25 because of its circa $58 million price tag–so high partially because some subscribers would have to be told how to reconfigure their mail programs to point at Comcast’s servers, and each phone call to the help desk costs $9.

Instead, Comcast’s engineers plan to try the innovative approach of identifying the zombie PCs and surreptitiously sending the subscriber’s cable modem a new configuration routine that prevents outbound connections on port 25. Zombie-infected users won’t even notice, the thinking goes, because most people use Comcast’s mail servers for outgoing e-mail. Anyone wrongfully blocked can call and complain.

A few things I found interesting were the $9 help desk calls. As well as the great solution.

Personally, I think the best solution would be to simply shut those users down until they solve the problem. By encouraging people to keep patches on their computer up to date, it will prevent things like viruses and other garbage from wasting bandwidth. That would benefit everyone even more. Simply terminate all outbound access to all but local comcast servers (mail, www). The user gets an email, and forwarded to a page explaining why they lost outbound connectivity. When the issue is rectified, they can re-enable their account by contacting tech support.

The simple prevention of course is if you run windows, to use windows update once a month, and a virus scanner. For those who don’t, they will get a crash course if they want to connect to the network.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m sick of viruses clogging my inbox. And we all know they clog bandwidth on the network as well. That’s capacity that should be used for downloading legitimate data.