Plan to reduce botnets launched

More than one in ten U.S. computers are infected by difficult-to-detect bots, which botmasters can use for anything from sending spam, to eavesdropping on network traffic, to stealing user passwords.

The OTA has been working with the FCC and leading ISPs to develop the voluntary U.S. Anti-Bot Code of Conduct. “Today is an example of the importance of self-regulatory efforts to help improve the safety and performance of the internet,” said Craig Spiezle, executive director and president, Online Trust Alliance. “Sustainable solutions to contain bots must include all stakeholders in efforts to detect, prevent, and remediate these threats.”

The development of the ABCs for ISPs was a multi-stakeholder effort over the past 12 months, with the participation of ISPs, trade associations and companies, including OTA members PayPal, Microsoft, Symantec, and Internet Identity, and leading ISPs, including Comcast and CenturyLink.

Focusing on residential users, the Code includes five areas of focus for ISPs: education, detection, notification, remediation, and collaboration.

Based on OTA analysis and initial ISP self-reporting, approximately 29 percent (or 23 million) of the 81 million U.S. households who have broadband service are realizing added protection from ISPs who have adopted the Anti-Bot Code of Conduct.

The CSRIC report cites research that ISPs also benefited – from reduced upstream traffic, spam, and helpdesk calls – when they took a proactive approach to bot remediation.

Future OTA reports will track adoption, highlighting those ISPs who have asserted their implementation of the Code. As independent organizations committed to enhancing online trust and confidence, ISPs are encouraged to report to OTA. Future reports will include the adoption of similar efforts by other stakeholders and industry segments.

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