We can't stop botnet attacks alone, says US government report - CNET

We can't stop botnet attacks alone, says US government report - CNET
We can't stop botnet attacks alone, says US government report - CNET

There's a new report out on botnets.James Martin/CNET

Botnets -- they're not going away. 

A newly released report from the Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce takes a dive into the global security issue. A botnet is a network of private, internet-connected devices that are infected with malware and controlled without the users' knowledge. They're used to launch things like distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks or ransomware attacks that can put critical infrastructure at risk, making them a big concern for the government.

Among the report's findings are that botnet attacks are a global problem, devices need to be more secure, and folks need better education about securing their devices. There attacks aren't a problem one person or group can solve. 

"No single stakeholder community can address the problem in isolation," the report said. "This effort will not end with the publication of this report. There is much work to do."

In May, the FBI put out a call for people to reboot their routers as "foreign cyber actors [had] compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide." Back in October 2016, hackers launched the Mirai botnet, which took down sites like Twitter, Spotify and Netflix through a DDoS attack. Three hackers plead guilty to creating the botnet in December 2017.

The report also lists goals for improving the situation:

  • Goal 1: Identify a clear pathway toward an adaptable, sustainable, and secure technology marketplace. 
  • Goal 2: Promote innovation in the infrastructure for dynamic adaptation to evolving threats. 
  • Goal 3: Promote innovation at the edge of the network to prevent, detect, and mitigate automated, distributed attacks. 
  • Goal 4: Promote and support coalitions between the security, infrastructure, and operational technology communities domestically and around the world. 
  • Goal 5: Increase awareness and education across the ecosystem.

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