White House Announces Anti-Botnet Initiatives

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The Obama administration yesterday announced several new initiatives aimed at combating botnets, including a list of principles for voluntary efforts to reduce the impact of botnets, a public education campaign on botnets, and a pilot program aimed at improving information sharing about botnet attacks.

"The pilot, to be led by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, could become the template for a wider botnet information sharing effort, administration officials said," writes FierceGovernment IT's David Perera. "The announcements came as part of a media campaign that included the unveiling of a voluntary set of principles for combating botnets adopted by the Industry Botnet Group, an industry group of trade associations and non-profits."

"Several companies, along with the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Trade Commission, unveiled an education campaign called 'Keep a Clean Machine' to teach consumers how to prevent their computers from being taken over by hackers," writes The Hill's Brendan Sasso.

"Botnets continue to increase the price of doing business online and place our companies at a competitive disadvantage, while threatening our individual privacy," U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology Patrick Gallagher said in a statement. "[These] efforts are only the beginning of the actions we can take, but working together through this public-private partnership we can start to combat these challenges."

"The administration stressed that its program is voluntary," notes PCMag.com's Chloe Albanesius. "The new initiatives 'do not prescribe any particular means or method and allow for flexibility in application by a wide range of participants and business models,' the White House said."