The White House has finally come to realize that botnets represent a serious threat to both consumers and governments and as a result it launched a public-private partnership that’s aimed at combating the phenomenon.Trade associations and nonprofit organizations that represent thousands of companies will form the Industry Botnet Group (IBG), an entity coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security and the Obama administration.
“The issue of botnets is larger than any one industry or country. This is why partnership is so important,” said White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt.
“The principles the IBG are announcing today draw on expertise from the widest range of players, with leadership coming from the across the private sector, and partnering with the government on items like education, consumer privacy and key safeguards in law enforcement.”
Secretary of DHS Janet Napolitano stressed that the government, the private sector, and even regular Internet users should be responsible for cybersecurity.
“No one entity can combat these security challenges alone. Individually we can take measures to defend ourselves, and together we can do even more to protect the ecosystem,” explained Liesyl Franz on behalf of the IBG.
The IBG’s new initiatives include a list of principles that should be voluntarily followed by all the involved parties in the effort to reduce the impact of these cyber threats, and a botnet attack-related information sharing system implemented by the Treasury Department, the DHS, and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC).
A campaign called “Keep a Clean Machine” has also been launched on this occasion with the purpose of raising awareness and educating consumers on the threats posed by botnets.
The FBI and the Secret Service have also gotten more involved recently in taking down the zombie networks.
As far as the private sector is concerned, Microsoft has already made public its involvement in the project, the company’s General Counsel Brad Smith being present at the White House event, highlighting the complexity of this growing threat.