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Government Surveillance

Public-Private Sectors Partner to Battle Botnets

“The proliferation of botnets and malware in cyberspace threatens to undermine the efficiencies, innovation, and economic growth of the Internet and diminishes the trust and confidence of online users,” the Industry Botnet Group (IBG) said today.  

During a White House ceremony today IBG released a set of voluntary principles that will allow “industry to respond nimbly to dynamic cyber threats,” the group said.

IBG is a multi-industry group committed to working together to combat cyber threats.  Botnets are created by malicious code installed on a computer or Internet communications device.  The botnets then connect to a remotely controlled network where a “bot herder” can exploit them for various purposes, including denial of service attacks, spam, click fraud, or theft of user ID’s, passwords and credit card numbers.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano joined with outgoing White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt and other public and private sector leaders today at the White House event to speak about the risks botnets pose to Internet security.  The event also highlighted the principles IBG released today.  

An IBG statement outlining the principles says:

These principles are intended to support efforts that are voluntary and led by the private sector, allowing industry to respond nimbly to dynamic cyber threats. They do not prescribe any particular means or method and allow for flexibility in application by a wide range of participants and business models.

The principles are intended to guide private sector efforts to combat the botnet threat across the entire Internet ecosystem.  CDT participated in the IBG process, and looks forward to working with industry, government and with other NGOs to ensure that efforts to combat cyber threats protect both consumer privacy and the openness of the Internet.