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For a number of years we have been leaders in network-based malware detection. This has enabled us to inform customers of likely malware infection and to provide recommendations on how to fix, or remediate, those infections.
We developed these network, or cloud-based tools in response to the rise of bot networks as a major threat to Internet users, especially threats targeted at PCs. But in the future, those threats will become increasingly complicated as the number of non-PC devices on home networks continues to increase dramatically, ranging from tablets to video streaming devices, smart TVs, smart appliances, and more (all of which are generally referred to as part of the so-called “Internet of Things”).
As a result, we are beginning early beta testing of new cloud-based capabilities to attempt to address these new threats. One has the working name Comcast Malware Detection Service (CMDS) and a second is the Safe Zone Router (SaZo). Each is intended to help us do more than tell a customer that something on their home network is infected by malware; they help us tell which specific device is or is not infected. We believe this is much more valuable to and actionable by our customers.
That said, each of these represent early beta tests and are unlikely to come widely to market as currently designed. Our objective instead is to use each of them as a vehicle to quickly test of new cloud-based security functions that leverages our network intelligence, so that we may more quickly iterate those and integrate them into a future new service.
CMDS will work by having interested customers (on an opt-in basis) temporarily send their traffic through Comcast’s cloud-based malware inspection service. That service will then send a report concerning whether or not specific devices are infected and, if so, with what malware and how that malware can be remediated. While this will initially be limited to specific operating systems and browsers, we are working to expand this to cover all major PC operating systems and browsers, and exploring how to test non-PC devices.
The SaZo project is being conducted in collaboration with Project BISmark. That involves a customer temporarily using a special home gateway device, though if effective this sort of capability could conceivably be part of a security module on one of our Xfinity wireless home gateways or be integrated into other software.
Comcast Xfinity Internet customers interested in participating in beta testing should go to to register using trial codes “CMDS” or “SAZO” .
Just a quick question re: BETA - for those joining are the usual beta testing suggestions applicable - ie test only on a test system, not your normal production system, make a complete backup image, etc???
Backups always recommended, but your regular PC can be used - we are trying to find real malware issues