ISP Backlash Over Feds’ Bot Notification Initiative

October 6, 2011
FedCyber Wire, Requirements
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A new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) effort to establish voluntary best practices for how ISPs should notify their customers whose machines are part of a botnet has met with some resistance from the service provider community.

The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), which is made up of ISPs, email providers, and security vendors including AT&T, Cisco, McAfee, Facebook, and Verizon, sees the federal effort as unnecessary and redundant, and is balking at the idea of the government legislating how ISPs handle bot-infected customers. MAAWG issued its own set of best practices (PDF) two years ago for mitigating bots, and several ISPs today already have their own bot notification mechanisms in place, according to MAAWG.

“There is no need for mandated action in this area since the market is already moving forward. Many ISPs are already doing a great deal to combat the menace of bots and malware. All over the U.S., ISPs currently have notification systems in place to tell their users they are infected and — whether they deliver these warnings via email, phone, walled gardens, or inline warnings — the warnings are being delivered,” says Michael O’Reirdan, chairman of the MAAWG. “Other ISPs currently have pilot programs or technology development efforts in place, and there will be more deployments in the near future.”

via Dark Reading, continued here.