Originally published: March 9, 2012
Last updated: March 9, 2012 - 6:47pm
In September, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, released Request for Information (RFI) to focus on the growing concern around a specific Internet security risk related to "botnets." While security risks on the Internet continue to exist in many areas, one increasingly exploited threat is the global rise of botnets. A botnet infection can lead to the monitoring of a consumer's personal information and communication, and exploitation of that consumer's computing power and Internet access. Researchers suggest an average of about 4 million new botnet infections occur every month. In our RFI, we specifically asked about efforts to notify individual residential consumers who had experienced a botnet infection. We received over two dozen comments from a wide range of stakeholders with surprisingly similar views on combating this problem.
Last week, a new Industry Botnet Group (IBG), comprising trade associations, companies, and privacy and safety organizations announced that it would begin work on a number of short term goals to move forward on many of the ideas raised in the RFI response. In particular, the IBG plans to:
- Develop high-level principles for addressing botnets that can be incorporated by a broad spectrum of industry participants into a range of business models and initiatives.
- Develop a strategy to increase public awareness on botnets and related malware that includes a focus on prevention and remediation.
- Provide online resources that aggregate and leverage available consumer-focused information and tools related to the prevention and remediation of bot infection.
- Identify how to collect progress reports on the botnet environment and the effects of educational and other measures on the health of the ecosystem, beginning with an inventory of existing practices and initiatives with regard to botnet prevention and remediation.
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