Our Constant Guard service (introduced in October 2009) is the result of a multi-year effort to create a comprehensive approach to protect our customers from increasingly sophisticated online security threats.
One of the most pressing threats has to do with bots - or robots - which are a malicious form of software that can take over your computer and command it to do things like send spam, host a phishing website or lead to identity theft by collecting all your keystrokes - like user IDs and passwords.
The National Cyber Security Alliance has called bots "one of the fastest growing cyber crimes," and recent research estimates the cost of identity theft fraud in the United States increased 12.5 percent in 2009 to $54 billion. A lot of that theft was the result of cyber criminals using bots.
As the nation's largest ISP, we're doing our part to detect bots and notify customers who we believe may have a computer that is being controlled by one. Last year, we launched an automatic bot detection and notification trial in Denver. During the trial, customers with computers that appeared to be infected with bots received a notification informing them of the potential bot infection and links to resources they could use to check and remove the bot.
Response to the trial was very positive and today we are beginning to roll-out the bot notification and detection service nationally on a market-by-market basis.
As we enter a market, customers will receive an e-mail announcement letting them know the Constant Guard service is now available in their area. Bot notifications will be first sent by e-mail. Once we are rolled out to all markets, we will add on an in-browser Service Notification, which makes it quick and easy to take action.
We hope you will agree that the Constant Guard service from Comcast is a useful way to that Comcast can help protect you from a variety of online threats. Let me know what you think.