-- Jeff said --
Patches either need to be of a size that a dialup user doesn't have to
be dialed in for 24 hours to download and install them. Or .iso's
should be available for ISP's to download, turn into CD's and
distribute as appropriate. Wouldn't that be nice for a dialup user -
getting Windows Update on a CD-ROM from their ISP?
To which I reply:
It is somewhat unreasonable to think that ISPs should be responsible
for the security of its users' systems on a systematic basis. Another reason
the idea of a 'CD with updates' most likely wouldn't be effective is because
by the time the ISP produced the CD, the user got the CD, and installed it,
the patches would most likely not be the most recent available. Also, do you
realize how much the 'average technical school graduate type' makes just
from acquaintances who complain that their computers are slow, by simply
removing whatever "flavor of the month backdoor spam proxy virus" I bet a
good number of 'tech service calls' that companies such as PC On Call and
people who service residences get could've been avoided by patching in a
reasonable time period.
However, awhile ago we tried an idea of sending out E-Mail alerts to
our customers whenever a critical update of "Remote execution" or worse was
released. We found that most of our users were annoyed by this, a different
time we used a network sniffing tool to find a few dozen handfuls of your
average home Dial-Up users who were infected with various malicious agents
(I.e. Nimda, et cetera) and we actually contacted those users, to let them
know and again we were met with more hostility.
From this interesting pattern I would surmise that users want their
ISPs to be hands-off unless the problem that they're causing is effecting
them directly. End users on the Internet see their connectivity as a right,
and not a privilege. I remember when I was 13 (that was only 11 years ago)
and I signed up for my Freenet account at the Columbus Public Library (I
believe it was, ? still is? Through OSU), they really made me feel like it
was a privilege to be using the Internet, and I honored that.
Its just difficult to explain from a professional level what the effects
these peoples' behavior (or lack there of) is having on the rest of the
community. Think of it like people who drive monster SUV's, they can afford
the gas, and the insurance so they don't believe that the harm that these
beasts do to our environment matter, because again its their god given right
to drive them.