Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

11/29/2018
05:25 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Anti-Botnet Guide Aims to Tackle Automated Threats

The international guide is intended to help organizations defend their networks and systems from automated and distributed attacks.

The Council to Secure the Digital Economy (CSDE) and Consumer Technology Association (CTA) today announced the International Anti-Botnet Guide, a new publication intended to help organizations block botnets and other automated, distributed cyberattacks.

USTelecom and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) were also involved in building the guide, which is the product of nine months of collaboration. IT stakeholders can use the guide for basic and advanced practices to reference when defending against bots. These aren't mandates or requirements, the guide points out. IT and security leaders can use them according to the circumstances, processes, and teams specific to their organizations.

No single stakeholder controls the connected economy, where bots have been both damaging and expensive. As the number of people, businesses, and devices grow, so does the potential for botnets to drive phishing, ransomware, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS_ attacks, and other digital threats. With the Internet of Things (IoT) poised to reach 20 billion devices by 2020, the global cost of cybercrime could reach trillions of dollars, researchers state in their report. Botnets are a driver of these losses.

"The botnet threat is more severe today than at any previous point in history," researchers point out, referring to threats ranging from the Storm Worm botnet of 2007 to the 2016 Mirai botnet that gained access to nearly 400,000 devices, including video cameras and recorders. While most botnets don't quite reach this scale, smaller attacks can disable websites and services, spread disinformation on social networks, and distribute ransomware.

"A host of bad actors are exploiting a target-rich attack surface," said Robert Mayer, senior vice president of cybersecurity at USTelecom, at an event held for the report today. Two elements are needed to "address this plague," he added: government and industry players working together, and all ecosystem stakeholders adopting measures to make the Internet resilient.

It's a threat that poses myriad challenges throughout the IT ecosystem. Report writers argue infrastructure providers could do more to protect customers, and smaller providers need guidance and resources. Increased software security drives bad actors to build more complex exploits. Many connected devices aren't built, configured, or installed with security in mind.

"There is no higher cause we all share than to address the challenges of our digital economy," said Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO at USTelecom. "We understand this is a shared responsibility across our industries ... a compliance-led regulatory model is not going to get us closer to the security that we all seek. This is proof of concept that industry ... is ready to lead."

Dean Garfield, president and CEO of ITI, emphasizes the need to get everyone on the same page sans regulation.

"The threat is asymmetric," he says of botnets, which are constantly evolving. "If you define a solution that's fixed in time, it's unlikely to be as flexible and fluid as the threat."

The botnet mitigation guide breaks its practices down into five types of provider, supplier, and user stakeholders in these categories: infrastructure, software development, devices and device systems, home and small business systems installation, and enterprises.

As an example of the guidance provided in the report, consider its subsection on botnet risk and mitigation among cloud and hosting providers, as part of its infrastructure section: "Because cloud networks are decentralized, they can typically withstand the disruption of numerous network components," experts explain. "This architectural feature makes the cloud more resilient to highly distributed botnets and provides additional mitigation capabilities."

Cloud services offer an added layer of security outside the ISP's infrastructure, they continue, and this protection is increasingly handy as the scale of botnet attacks continues to escalate.

Overall, for infrastructure providers planning to defend against bots, the guide advises first identifying which assets need to be defended and the potential vulnerabilities leaving them exposed. Companies should stay up to date on exploits for each flaw they identify. As for advanced practices, they add, infrastructure providers with access to more resources may have security researchers on hand to analyze heuristics and behaviors to detect malware.

There are additional baseline and advanced practices for signature analysis, heuristic analysis, behavioral analysis, packet sampling, and honeypots under the "Detect Malicious Traffic and Vulnerabilities" section for infrastructure providers, as well as similar levels of guidance for mitigating against distributed threats with filtering, traffic shaping, blackholing, sinkholing, scrubbing, and BGP flowspec. Stakeholders across categories can find similar detailed guidance.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
thepkiguy
50%
50%
thepkiguy,
User Rank: Author
12/10/2018 | 5:42:00 PM
IABG Announcement
Great to see the creation of this IABG to provide another tool to the arsenal of fighting botnets. Organizations unfortunately are ill-prepared for an attack and wait until it's too late to find out how to mitigate the risk.
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Human Nature vs. AI: A False Dichotomy?
John McClurg, Sr. VP & CISO, BlackBerry,  11/18/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: -when I told you that our cyber-defense was from another age
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-3350
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
masqmail 0.2.21 through 0.2.30 improperly calls seteuid() in src/log.c and src/masqmail.c that results in improper privilege dropping.
CVE-2011-3352
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
Zikula 1.3.0 build #3168 and probably prior has XSS flaw due to improper sanitization of the 'themename' parameter by setting default, modifying and deleting themes. A remote attacker with Zikula administrator privilege could use this flaw to execute arbitrary HTML or web script code in the context ...
CVE-2011-3349
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
lightdm before 0.9.6 writes in .dmrc and Xauthority files using root permissions while the files are in user controlled folders. A local user can overwrite root-owned files via a symlink, which can allow possible privilege escalation.
CVE-2019-10080
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
The XMLFileLookupService in NiFi versions 1.3.0 to 1.9.2 allowed trusted users to inadvertently configure a potentially malicious XML file. The XML file has the ability to make external calls to services (via XXE) and reveal information such as the versions of Java, Jersey, and Apache that the NiFI ...
CVE-2019-10083
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
When updating a Process Group via the API in NiFi versions 1.3.0 to 1.9.2, the response to the request includes all of its contents (at the top most level, not recursively). The response included details about processors and controller services which the user may not have had read access to.