Comcast Sniffs Out Bots

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Comcast has launched a pilot program of a notification system that will alert broadband subscribers if their computers appear to be infected with a "bot" or virus.

The MSO on Thursday launched a trial of the Constant Guard security program in Denver. If customers' computers are suspected of being compromised, the service displays an in-browser notification requesting that they visit the Comcast security center online to remove the bot from their computer and prevent it from spreading to other users.

Comcast virus alert

Other ISPs have instituted similar programs. For example, Qwest Communications' Customer Internet Protection Program, rolled out two years ago, notifies the telco's broadband customers about viruses and malware that may be on their computers.

As part of Constant Guard, Comcast has established a dedicated "customer security assurance" team that will proactively contact subscribers to respond to issues relating to bots, malware and other related security issues. Comcast offers the McAfee Internet Security Suite (valued at $120) to broadband customers for no extra charge, as well as a Web toolbar that includes spyware detection and removal, a pop-up ad blocker and anti-phishing software.

"As the nation's largest residential Internet service provider, our goal is to provide a safe and secure Internet experience for our customers," said Mitch Bowling, senior vice president and general manager of Comcast's online services. "The Constant Guard Security Program is the result of many years of working to assemble the right people, technologies and resources to help ensure our customers are protected from hackers and bots in real-time."

The MSO offers more information about the Constant Guard program at