The White House Takes on Botnets

Slide Show

10-Step Security and Vulnerability Assessment Plan

Use this plan to ensure your information system controls are correctly implemented.

Looks like the White House is entering another war. And I'm not talking about the cyber war against Iran, although this war is cybersecurity-related.


Apparently, the Obama administration has made a commitment to join in the battle against botnets. Earlier this week, the Industry Botnet Group (IBG) - which includes the White House, Homeland Security and a number of private industries - announced some initiatives aimed at fighting botnets.


It almost sounds like it is straight out of a cheesy science fiction movie, doesn't it? Barack versus the Botnets. But anyone who works in IT security knows that botnets are a massive problem - or as Howard Schmidt, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator, pointed out, a problem that is bigger than any one country or industry. It is us against our computers. And that's why, he added, it is important to work as a team.


According to PC Magazine, IBG has released a four-point plan to battle the botnets:


  • Voluntary Principles
  • Data-Sharing Pilot
  • Keep a Clean Machine
  • Private Sector Information Sharing


According to McAfee's Co-President Michael DeCesare, quoted in a Computerworld story, about one in 10 American computers is infected with a bot. That's a staggering number if you think about it. If I think about my immediate family and our computers, we have six adults and nine or 10 computers. Statistically, one of us is infected with a botnet. That's just my family, and doesn't include any work computers. If you are in a business setting with dozens or hundreds or thousands of computers used, there is little doubt that somewhere in your system there are machines infected with botnets.


DeCesare also pointed out in the Computerworld story that about 5 million computer systems were infected with botnets in the first quarter of this year. Five million in three months.


So, good for IBG for stepping up and coming up with a battle plan in a relatively short period of time (the group was founded in September 2011). If the White House is to involve itself in another war, this is the kind I prefer.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post

Post a comment





(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.




Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.