Risk
9/23/2011
12:40 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Feds Seek Advice To Battle Botnets

Homeland Security and Commerce Departments want to develop voluntary, standard practices that will protect and mitigate attacks on the private sector.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
Two federal agencies are seeking ideas for creating a code of conduct that private-sector Internet service providers (ISPs) can adopt to protect their customers against botnet attacks.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and two Department of Commerce organizations--the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration--are asking the public to weigh in on requirements and approaches to creating a "voluntary industry code of conduct to address the detection, notification, and mitigation of botnets "via a request for proposal on the Federal Register.

Botnets are collections of computers that remote parties control to mount cyber attacks and act in other malevolent ways. These types of attacks are increasing in number, according to the agencies, with various negative results such as remote "monitoring of a consumer's personal information and communication, and exploitation of that consumer's computing power and Internet access," according to the RFP.

[ Botnets are a growth industry. Read Inside The Booming Botnet Industry ]

Once a botnet infects a network, compromised computers also can be used to spread spam, store and transfer illegal content, and attack both public and private-sector networks with denial of service attacks, according to the RFP.

The DHS and Commerce are asking "all Internet stakeholders" to comment on potential models for detection, notification, prevention, and mitigation of botnets' illicit use of computer equipment. The comment period is open until Nov. 4.

The RFP provides a list of questions for those interested in submitting ideas to consider, including pondering what practices already have proved effective against detecting botnets before an attack and what mechanisms already are in place to share information about botnets that would help prevent, detect, and mitigate attacks by them.

The agencies answered the first question themselves in the RFP, noting that there has been successful protection against botnets when Internet service providers (ISP) can identify an attack and notify customers that their network has been infected. They also suggest the creation of a resource center, run either by the private sector, the government, or some kind of hybrid public-private partnership, to provide centralized support for ISP customers to deal with botnet threats.

The feds increasingly are working with the private sector on cybersecurity, especially in the adoption of standards and other best practices that the industry can use to better protect U.S. critical infrastructure.

Join us for GovCloud 2011, a day-long event where IT professionals in federal, state, and local government will develop a deeper understanding of cloud options. Register now.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2006-1318
Published: 2014-09-19
Microsoft Office 2003 SP1 and SP2, Office XP SP3, Office 2000 SP3, Office 2004 for Mac, and Office X for Mac do not properly parse record lengths, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a malformed control in an Office document, aka "Microsoft Office Control Vulnerability."

CVE-2012-2588
Published: 2014-09-19
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in MailEnable Enterprise 6.5 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) From, (2) To, or (3) Subject header or (4) body in an SMTP e-mail message.

CVE-2012-6659
Published: 2014-09-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the admin interface in Phorum before 5.2.19 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted URL.

CVE-2014-1391
Published: 2014-09-19
QT Media Foundation in Apple OS X before 10.9.5 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) via a crafted movie file with RLE encoding.

CVE-2014-3614
Published: 2014-09-19
Unspecified vulnerability in PowerDNS Recursor (aka pdns_recursor) 3.6.x before 3.6.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via an unknown sequence of malformed packets.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio