Keep a Clean Machine and help fight botnets

May 29, 2012 8:45am

For the past several months, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has been working with other organizations to create the Industry Botnet Group, a voluntary group of companies, trade associations and non-profit organizations established to collaborate, share expertise and aggregate resources to combat botnets. 

Botnets are networks of personal computers infected by malware and controlled remotely by criminals. Botnets are used to send spam, attack websites, and distribute more malware, among other things.

The malware used by botnets can infect your computer, turning it into a "bot" or "zombie," meaning your computer can become part of the botnet and help criminals do their dirty work.

Botnets are becoming an increasing problem in cyberspace. Botnet growth jumped sharply from 2011 to the first quarter of 2012, according to McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2012.

The Industry Botnet Group is working to engage a broad group of players in the Internet ecosystem to do their part to prevent botnets, detect infected machines, notify computer users if they are infected, help remediate and remove malware, and recover from any effects. 

At NCSA, our core mission is to educate and empower computer users to enjoy the Internet safely and securely. To help with the Industry Botnet Group’s efforts and raise awareness about botnets and prevention, we’ve partnered with STOP. THINK. CONNECT. to create the Keep a Clean Machine Campaign

Visitors to the Keep a Clean Machine Campaign page will find tips to prevent their devices from getting infected, access to anti-virus scans, STOP. THINK. CONNECT. posters, educational materials about botnets and resources to clean their computers if they’re infected.

We decided on the Keep a Clean Machine name because one of the best ways to protect yourself from botnets and other malware is by Keeping a Clean Machine and making sure you have the latest security software, web browser, and operating system.

In fact, when we tested the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. message, we found that the phrase, “Keep a Clean Machine”  was a strong favorite among our respondents. They said the concept was important for the American public to hear and it made them want to learn more about how to be safe and secure online. 

We hope you’ll take a moment to visit the Keep a Clean Machine Campaign and the Industry Botnet Group websites.  

Keeping your Internet-connected devices free from malware and infections makes the Internet safer for you and more secure for everyone.


Michael Kaiser, NCSA Executive Director

Chris Boyer, NCSA Board President