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President Barack Obama and Senator Joe Lieberman
White House wants national and global cooperation to fight botnets

Computer viruses have become a huge problem not only for companies and businesses in the United States, but the government itself. The Obama administration unveiled a new pilot program this week that would require internet service providers and financial services companies to share data about networks of infected computers known as botnets.
These voluntary principles were developed by an industry group to help prevent and detect botnets and would also include a consumer education campaign about computer viruses and the problems viruses and botnets could lead to.
Botnets can be used to send spam or to execute denial of service attacks against various websites that can bring the sites down. Botnets are often created by programs sent out as e-mail attachments that infect computers with hidden software when opened.
“The issue of botnets is larger than any one industry or country,” Howard Schmidt, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, said in an e-mailed statement. “This is why partnership is so important.”
The voluntary principles unveiled by the White House this week would coordinate across various sectors of industry and the government to discover and fight botnets. The principles were developed by an industry group called Industry Botnet Group that includes the Business Software Alliance and TechAmerica.
The White House and lawmakers in Washington aren't the only people working to fight botnets. Details of a botnet pilot program developed by the financial services Information Sharing and Analysis Center will be provided next month. At this point, there is no indication of what companies are participating in developing the pilot program to be unveiled next month. However, the center works with U.S. Treasury and Homeland Security while boasting more than 4,000 members including some of the top banks and credit card companies in the country.

The President continues to oppose a bill that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives encouraging the government and companies voluntary share information on various cyber security threats. Obama opposes the bill because he feels it doesn't do enough to protect critical systems and could erode the privacy of individual citizens. President Obama instead supports a bill sponsored by Senator Joe Lieberman that would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of regulating the nations cyber security for critical systems.

Source: Bloomberg

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By FITCamaro on 5/31/2012 9:31:59 AM , Rating: 4
President Obama instead supports a bill sponsored by Senator Joe Lieberman that would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of regulating the nations cyber security for critical systems.

No surprise there. No thanks.

Personally I don't think the government has any business in getting involved with private industry in this matter. They should work to protect their systems and data. If the private sector wants to work together to fight botnets, they don't need Congress' permission to do so. They can share information without sharing personal information.

RE: Jee...surprise
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 9:44:07 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah, Obama backing the big Government solution?? Well color me shocked at that one!

Unless we're now calling bots "terrorists", I fail to see how this is something that should fall under the DHS.

RE: Jee...surprise
By dark matter on 5/31/2012 9:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well if buying a pirate DVD or CD means you're supporting terrorism, don't colour me shocked that if you have a virus, you're also supporting terrorists.

Perhaps people should remember what terrorism is. Seems like the government is becoming more and more like the dictionary definition.

RE: Jee...surprise
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 10:47:30 AM , Rating: 4
I just pirated Game of Thrones season 2 last night....

the terrorist win. Again! :(

RE: Jee...surprise
By Ammohunt on 5/31/2012 10:53:50 PM , Rating: 1
Its a good enough production to pay these guys for their work.....

RE: Jee...surprise
By TeXWiller on 5/31/2012 10:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
In the sense that the FBI is dealing with "cyber crime" today, the DHS involvement is making .. erm .. sense when it comes to the already security-wise regulated critical infrastructure. It indeed takes only a single law about dealing with personal information to enable all forms of private collaborations around security issues. Too bad many current EULAs and business models would probably violate against such a privacy law.

RE: Jee...surprise
By FITCamaro on 5/31/2012 11:21:44 AM , Rating: 2
I love how people act like they're forced into EULAs and to do business with companies.

RE: Jee...surprise
By Ringold on 5/31/2012 11:42:52 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. The biggest problem, the inherent problem in all government ventures but an absolutely critical one here, is flexibility. The DHS moves like a snail. A giant snail, stuck in molasses. The makers of these botnets can change tactics in the time it takes them to pound out code or click some buttons. It's the same problem with financial regulation; we can craft all the rules we want, but government hacks will never be able to stay ahead of markets.

RE: Jee...surprise
By Lerianis on 5/31/2012 1:38:49 PM , Rating: 1
Are you joking? So your solution apparently is to just not try to regulate?

The proper solution to that "Not being able to stay ahead of markets" is to BAN any 'new' stuff appearing on the markets until the government has gone over it with a fine-toothed comb and made sure that it is not a Ponzi/etc. scheme by another name.

Best thing you could do with financial markets is to STRICTLY regulate them, to the point of not allowing any new financial stuff without an audit first.

RE: Jee...surprise
By FITCamaro on 5/31/2012 1:45:37 PM , Rating: 1
I just shit my pants from laughing so hard.

RE: Jee...surprise
By NellyFromMA on 5/31/2012 1:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
So, on the one hand, this article states these are new requirements... On the other hand they are 'voluntary principles'.

I am probably missing something, but voluntary + required does not compute

RE: Jee...surprise
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 1:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
When our fascist overlords in Washington tell an industry to "voluntarily" do something, what they really mean is "huge overbearing mandate legislation incoming, prepare for it.".

And yet...
By Guspaz on 5/31/2012 10:10:19 AM , Rating: 3
And yet, when Microsoft puts out their own (actually excellent) AV, the AV industry cries foul...

I never understood that. The AV industry is founded on taking advantage of security flaws with Microsoft's operating system, but when Microsoft tries to make their OS more secure and reliable, the AV industry cries monopoly abuse?

Sorry, you're profiting off Microsoft's mistake, and they have every right to fix that mistake. It's not monopolistic to try to make your product more reliable.

RE: And yet...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 10:08:24 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I feel that Security Essentials should be bundled with every Windows OS. But you can imagine why they didn't do that.

I'm a Capitalist, but I don't believe the AV industry has a god-given "right" to profits. If someone wants to offer something better for free, they should be allowed to.

Given how wide sweeping and truly damaging viruses and other nasties can be, resulting in real monetary losses, Microsoft should be encouraged to do everything possible to defend against it. No, not just encouraged, but compelled.

RE: And yet...
By kattanna on 5/31/2012 10:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should be encouraged to do everything possible to defend against it. No, not just encouraged, but compelled.

oh.. they have been compelled.. compelled to leave holes that is.

RE: And yet...
By Lerianis on 5/31/2012 1:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the 'holes' that you do deride are left in Windows in order for programs that are not made by Microsoft to run.

I.E. they are not holes but necessary functionality.

That said, Microsoft years ago was horrible at security.

RE: And yet...
By FITCamaro on 5/31/2012 1:53:14 PM , Rating: 1
BS. Before Vista came out, Microsoft announced that no one other than them would have kernel access. Norton and McAfee went ape shit saying they wouldn't be able to write their software to provide adequate protection.

Kapersky invalidated their arguments by announcing they had written their software to work with this. However the big boys, Norton and McAfee, basically forced Microsoft through threats of anti-competition lawsuits to allow access to the kernel.

But if you open it to someone, you open it to everyone. So while Windows Vista and 7 were still more secure than XP, they could have been even more secure if not for overzealous companies and governments that scream at any sign of so-called anti-competition.

Fact is that Microsoft owns Windows. Not anyone else. They should be allowed to do whatever they want to it. Same as Apple does. They're not in business to allow other companies to make money. They're in business to let them make money.

To me this crap is no different than MySpace suing Facebook because Facebook refused to give users the option to export their friends to a format that MySpace could import.

RE: And yet...
By FITCamaro on 5/31/2012 1:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty pathetic that Microsoft isn't allowed to bundle Security Essentials with Windows. It's a great software suite. And the only reason they're not allowed is because of ridiculous anti-competition laws.

Now if they made it to where you couldn't turn it off and install something else, that's a different story. But including Security Essentials with Windows makes sense. Anti-capitalist idiocy strikes again.

RE: And yet...
By AntiM on 5/31/2012 3:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if it's even possible to create a 100% secure operating system. Most of the malware I see happens because people go to web sites they shouldn't be going to and doing other things they shouldn't be doing.

You can fix security holes but you can't fix stupidity.

I'm sure it's possible to make a more secure operating system at the expense of flexibility.

By espaghetti on 5/31/2012 9:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
...wasteful government spending.
Wait, we haven't had that kind of attitude in the white house in a long time and they didn't need cooperation from anyone. It's called a veto pen.

probably look something like TechShop
By sirah on 5/31/2012 10:20:22 AM , Rating: 1
This idea, however, is not the first of its kind. Hackerspaces are "community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects" and usually provide electricity and computer servers for community members to use free of charge. Some of the better-equipped ones provide tools and materials for working on projects and most hold social events or activities for members to participate in. TechShop is an example of a for-profit hackerspace, but the non-profit ones have begun popping up all over the country. Hackerspaces are also becoming more common on university campuses, such as MIT's Hobby Shop.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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