Over the last 12 months, organised criminal groups have been releasing viruses to attack insecure PCs, creating networks of tens of thousands of infected machines, called botnets, which can be used to send spam or launch co-ordinated attacks against corporate IT systems.
"By protecting the home and small business user more, and by reducing the number of machines that might be compromised, actually what we are doing is minimising the risk to the critical national infrastructure. If everyone protected their home PC, there would be no botnets."
The work of the campaign will include encouraging home users and small businesses to sign up to the alert service, as well as providing advice on security incidents such as urgent threats that affect home PCs, PDAs and mobile phones. It expects to issue between six and 10 alerts a year, which will contain advice written in plain English for non-IT specialists.