Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Got viruses? No internet for you…

The university has recently reconfigured its ResNet services – the broadband internet access that students in halls of residence can use – so that if it is detected that your computer is actively spreading viruses it will not be able to access the internet. In fact the only page it will be able to access is one that allows you to download the university’s site licensed anti-virus tools.
ResNet is already separately firewalled from the rest of the campus network so that if students’ machines are infected with worms it won’t bring down the rest of the network; the same applies with the wifi system. Still, this did fall through earlier this year when a member of staff took his university laptop home for the weekend, got infected with Sasser and then brought plugged it directly onto the network network (which staff can do). The entire computer centre was shut for an afternoon while the IT staff fixed the infected machines.
To me, blocking access to virus-infected machines is a good approach. I believe PlusNet stops you browsing if certain ports are open on your machine that could be indicative of viruses and I hope that other ISPs do the same thing. There are plenty of adequate virus scanners and firewall products available for free and it would make the internet a safer place to be.


  1. I looked into implementing something like this last year, with Cisco and I think it was GFI. You can even go as far as checking service packs and versions of anti virus.
    It would be great if other ISPs started this, so long as I’m still allowed to run my servers on a cable connection.
    Now if only there was a way of getting it running on a typical home network for (nearly) free.

  2. MS are going to be bringing something like that in oneday – its something i really could do with here in the office.