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Botnet Government Security United States IT

White House Announces Initiative To Fight Botnets 89

benfrog writes "ISPs and financial-services companies would share data about computers made into botnets under a pilot program announced today by the Obama administration. From the article: 'The voluntary principles announced today include coordinating across sectors and confronting the problem globally. They were developed by the Industry Botnet Group, comprising trade groups including the Business Software Alliance and TechAmerica.' The White House is also backing a bill proposed by Joe Lieberman that would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of cybersecurity of vital systems such as power grids and transportation networks."
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White House Announces Initiative To Fight Botnets

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  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @08:22PM (#40162361) Homepage

    It's OK. They'll declare war against botnets, and then implement a bunch of laws to combat them, all of which will result in a further slide into tyranny. Eventually we'll have government agents from the to-be established Department of Home Computer Security come into our homes once a week to inspect all of our computing devices. For our own protection, of course.

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @08:24PM (#40162377)

    It makes sense for "Homeland Security" to secure power grids, and critical infrastructure.
    They know nothing of computer security, botnets, or doing much more than confiscation.
    The BSA knows even less.

    I would be excited to see a team of REAL security experts (Schneier and Kasperksky)
    working together with the folks at [] to eliminate the real threats.
    Grandmothers, breastfeeding mothers, little girls with insulin pumps, and people who copy
    Windows 98 are _NOT_ the real threat.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @08:25PM (#40162383)
    to think that this is a not very subtle attempt to give the government an excuse to build a Great Firewall of America?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @08:54PM (#40162567)

    It is humorous that the BSA is taking charge of solving a problem that is essentially created by its members (and not able to solve it). The BSA is all about fighting for proprietary software. They ensure third parties (like antivirus companies) can't fix the code which lets botnets propagate and they ensure we don't have an Debian-like/apt-get like solution to software maintenance, distribution, and trust models.

    This BSA lead solution is bound to fail.

    The only thing I can conceive of working well to reduce or eliminate botnets is to free the software, implement official security standards all software need comply with, and fix the distribution problem. We would need to properly fund free software platforms and ecosystems. The move to free software with carefully scrutinised (think Debian) channels of trust exist and the software is available for third party review. These software repositories should require certain minimum security standards too. For the most part it's already being done as such with Debian although without any such standards (apart from trust in relation to distribution). They need to eliminate all but essential features of applications which execute scripts.

    - applications should not generally implement support for unnecessary scripting features, embedded objects, etc

    1. Web browsers should not have flash, PDF readers, java applets, GPU accelerated 'gaming' features, or silverlight.
    2. PDF software should not support scripting or embedded objects (like flash).
    3. Office software should not support macros; there is a business case although that needs restrictions and should not generally be in consumer office applications. Even within the business situation there needs to be restrictions on the businesses users ability to install such macros without technical advise.
    4. E-mail clients and similar should not support scripting or even html except for a minimal subset of features.
    5. Instant messaging software should also not implement scripting and limit any HTML to a subset of the standard.
    6. Applications should not install third party plug-ins to web browsers or similar.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @11:01PM (#40163225)

    You didn't check very well. The SOPA was introduced by a Republican. []

  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @11:38PM (#40163349) Homepage
    That it was, however when the republicans as a whole (not the singular who introduced it) bailed on it, the democrats continued to push for it. The obama admin has quite a few officials who were prior RIAA or MPAA members. but as I said, dont let the partisanship ruin things for you.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.