FCC offers advice to ISPs for boosting network security

The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, an independent agency of the US government whose goals include public safety, says that Internet service providers should come up with a voluntary code of conduct aimed at keeping their customers and the Internet infrastructure safe from various threats.

As the danger of getting cut off the Internet looms over around 400,000 users still compromised by the DNS Changer malware, it seems clear that users should not be wholly counted upon keeping their machines from falling into botnet masters’ hands.

As the law doesn’t allow Internet providers or government agencies to push out software that would automatically get rid of such infections for the users, additional measures for the prevention of infections on the providers’ part seem like a good idea.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Chairman Julius Genachowski said that ISPs should work towards increasing customer awareness so that users can look for signs that their computers are being used as bots, detecting infections in customers’ computers, notifying customers when their computers have become infected, and offering remediation support.

Another great threat is that of Internet route hijacking. “I strongly urge ISPs to support the development of secure routing standards and plan to implement them when they are ready,” he said, adding that the costs of implementation can be minimized by putting in place the new technical standards during routine hardware and software upgrades.

He also urged ISPs to adopt DNSSEC as soon as possible, as the domain name fraud threat also looms large.

“The potential harm of cyber attacks is so great because the Internet has become such a key platform for innovation, economic growth, and opportunity – delivering more and more value to people everywhere, every day,” he noted. “Like so many other Internet-related challenges, solutions to cyber threats will require the multiple stakeholders of the Internet community to work together and develop practical solutions to secure our networks.”

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