New ISP Anti-Bot Code Just Passed

Voluntary code is the first unified industry effort to cooperatively address the bot problem on a broad scale

March 23, 2012

3 Min Read


San Francisco, March 22, 2012 – The new U.S. Anti-Bot Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers announced today by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is a major step forward in the fight against malware and will greatly reduce online risk to end-users, according to the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group. The voluntary code is the first unified industry effort to cooperatively address the bot problem on a broad scale and was developed with wide industry support by the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council’s (CSRIC) Working Group 7, which was chaired by the M3AAWG Co-Chairman Michael O’Reirdan. The new code, called the ABCs for ISPs, grew out of the experience of private industry security experts working with government as part of the FCC CSRIC working group focused on bot mitigation. Other M3AAWG members who are participating in CSRIC Working Group 7 represent AT&T, CAUCE, Comcast, Cox, Damballa, ISC, PayPal, Sprint, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, and also included M3AAWG Senior Technical Advisor Joe St Sauver. (M3AAWG is also known as M3 for Messaging Malware and Mobile.) M3AAWG Will List ISP Code Participants ISPs and network operators adhering to the practices recommended by the code will be allowed to state their participation publicly and to be identified on official industry listings of participating service providers. This includes a Web page ( maintained by M3AAWG that is now available where ISPs and network operators can request to be listed as meeting the code prerequisites. By announcing participation, ISPs and network operators demonstrate to their customers and the Internet community their commitment to working against bots and malware that can covertly infect end-users computers. The new code describes actions that network operators should take to educate end-users, detect infected computers, notify their customers, provide information to help them remove the malware, and share feedback with other ISPs about the problem. “Bots are a serious concern for end-users, the economy and the nation. Looking at the significant reduction in spam over the years, we know that cooperative industry action is effective against online abuse. This anti-bot code was developed as a voluntary industry-led initiative in CSRIC Working Group 7 and is a new framework for attacking the problem and reducing the danger,” said Michael O’Reirdan, M3AAWG co-chairman and also WG #7 chair. Bots are malicious programs installed on a users’ system, usually without their knowledge, that are used by criminals to steal personal identity information, send spam, launch attacks against websites and other nefarious actions. In 2009, M3AAWG issued the first best practices to help network operators mitigate bots and the IETF is currently working on an industry mitigation standard, but the new code goes beyond technical considerations. About the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) The Messaging, Mobile and Malware Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) is where the industry comes together to work against bots, malware, spam, viruses, denial-of-service attacks and other online exploitation. M3AAWG ( – or M3 for Messaging, Malware and Mobile ­– represents more than one billion mailboxes from some of the largest network operators worldwide. It leverages the depth and experience of its global membership to tackle abuse on existing networks and new emerging services through technology, collaboration and public policy. It also works to educate global policy makers on the technical and operational issues related to online abuse and messaging. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., M3AAWG is an open forum driven by market needs and supported by major network operators and messaging providers.

Keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats, newly discovered vulnerabilities, data breach information, and emerging trends. Delivered daily or weekly right to your email inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights