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Privacy & Data

FTC Nails a Bad Actor Internet Hosting Company

At the Anti-Spyware Coalition workshop two weeks ago, a common theme was how to ensure that law enforcement can work with companies and researchers to share information that could lead to effective enforcement actions. In fact, we launched the Chain of Trust Initiative, to develop avenues of collaboration on protecting the Internet from malicious actors. Brian Krebs’ keynote mentioned hosting company Triple Fiber Network (3FN) as one of the bad actors that ought to deal with swiftly. Luckily, the FTC has just taken steps to shut down the hosting company. The FTC complaint says that 3FN has actively participated in the distribution of illegal and harmful content, and was one of the world’s leading hosts of malicious content. Last year, a huge drop in spam was seen when another rogue U.S. based hosting company was cut off from the Internet. McColo was disconnected by two Internet providers, but this was done without action by law enforcement. This FTC action is, as Brian notes, an unprecedented move. Hopefully, increased collaboration will lead to more effective and more frequent FTC enforcement. Involving all the stakeholders – industry, academics, law enforcement, and others – in the process can only lead to better information and more effective Network protection.