Virgin Media launches malware awareness initiative


Virgin Media has initiated a malware awareness campaign, sending letters to potentially infected customers about the threats they face.

Using third-party support from organisations such as The Shadowserver Foundation to identify affected users, Virgin Media will advise on both remedial and preventative action.

Households will be sent advice on using free software to scan computers and remove viruses, while advertising the services of Virgin Media Digital Home Support, which can help with eradicating malware.

The announcement comes after research carried out through the Virgin Media Digital Home Support service discovered almost a quarter of customers seeking help had either computer or speed problems caused by malware.

In the future, the ISP will be exploring ways to help customers both avoid malware attacks and deal with them once they have hit, but a Virgin Media spokesperson could not confirm any specifics.

"This is the first part of the plan," a spokesperson told IT PRO. "It's in our interest to protect our network."

While it would be beneficial to contact every one of its customers about the malware threat, it would not be "cost-effective" to do so, the spokesperson said.

The provider will also be promoting its Virgin Media Security product as part of the campaign a product that does not currently cover Mac computers.

"We are certainly looking into that. It's not quite at the same scale for Mac users as it is for PC users, but we are certainly not ignoring them," the spokesperson added.

TalkTalk recently came under fire for looking at where customers were going online as part of a data gathering project for a service to block infected websites.

"[We are] using third parties [as] we don't want to spy on our customers," the spokesperson said. "This approach is above board."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.