“Consumers need to know that they may be directly implicated in the criminal activities being perpetrated by botnets — if not by having their own identity or personal information stolen, then by being part of a network of zombie PCs carrying out large scale criminal activities like massive spam distribution and phishing e-mail schemes,’ said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president, consumer products division, Symantec.” –Symantec press release issued on July 17, 2007 To me, this statement stirs up all sorts of visions, most of which involve law enforcement, courts and fines or prison. Actually, being “directly implicated in … criminal activities” doesn’t leave much to the imagination. This seems to be a threat or at least a threatening situation. A possible solution to the dire problem, according to the press release is to buy YASSP — “Yet Another Security Software Package.” I don’t have a problem with companies trying to sell products to solve computing problems. My problem is with the burden Symantec lays on the shoulders of consumers. If bots are destroying the world of networked computers as we know it, it seems like there might be something a little more systemic that’s gone awry. Creating YASSPs that must be added by consumers (who are already portrayed as being unwitting dupes of the botmasters) merely cements my view that the botmasters aren’t the only ones who want a piece of the action from consumers’ wallets. I can’t help but wonder if when AntiBot installs if it doesn’t also suggest YASSP that is just positively required to keep out the big, bad viruses of the world. And then I wonder if that YASSP looks around to see if an anti-spam YASSP might be needed to keep the users PC worm free? Self-propagating? Using bluster, confusion and mile-long license agreements to get the user to click the magic “I Accept” button? Money going from the consumer’s wallet to some unseen network presence? Internet threats abound. Better get YASSP.