The Botnets are Coming! The Botnets are Coming!

Botnet threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, which is a large part of why there needs to be broader protection and a set of global standards for cyber security.  Most public utilities have laws regarding user’s safety and Internet connectivity should be treated with the same level of concern.  Government participation and global cooperation are necessary to develop an effective overall Internet security policy.  A minimum security bar that would give users the correct assumption that if the standards are met on their PC that they can safely operate their PCs free from concern of being attacked, regardless of which carrier they use.

Homeland Security Initiates Cyber Security Campaign

A cyber security campaign has been launched by the Department of Homeland Security. Malware is becoming a serious enough threat that the US government is taking precautions by educating end users on Internet safety.  The campaign is called Stop, Think, Connect, and offers support forums and education on cyber security strategies. While Stop, Think, Connect is an excellent effort there is only so much that the end user can do to protect themselves from ever-evolving cybercriminals and it may mot be the most effective place to concentrate of resources.

Microsoft Lays the Foundation for Cyber Security

There have been a lot of negative responses to Microsoft’s recent call to action proposing global Internet health.  Their concept has been criticized for looking good on paper but having little effect when implemented.  While the critics are not 100% wrong it’s important to realize that what Microsoft is suggesting is a small piece to the security solution puzzle, but an important one.  A global collective effort to establish security standards is overdue and ISPs, governments, and security vendors need to work together to contribute to an overall solution.

Comcast Doing the Right Thing

Comcast recently announced its Constant Guard Bot Detection service that emails customers if they have been infected with malware and directs them to central support to remediate the infection.  Other service providers, such as Qwest, have taken similar measures to protect their customers and now Comcast’s tremendous first step deserves a big round of applause.

McIntel vs. Multiple Vendor

The Internet security industry has always been a multi-vendor playing field. ISPs look to a number of resources to address their various liabilities and concerns. In turn, customers have a number of products to choose from and the ability to create a custom security system that is tailored to their specifications.

So what if “Mc-Intel” were to go forth with their plans of a “walled garden.” Imagine instead of multiple vendors, one vendor, with one standardized security infrastructure. Customers would have no brand or service options and security settings would be default on every system. People’s PCs have just as unique a security infrastructure as people’s homes. Some of us have alarms, video cameras, and keypads. Others go on vacation and leave the doors unlocked.

ISPs Step Up to the Plate, Time to Play Ball

The Internet has become a place you never walk alone.  Between users concern for the safety of their identities and with the United States being the number one malware producing country, the time has come for major policing.  Cybercriminals are becoming more organized, threats are becoming more advanced, and it’s clear that the average end user can’t adequately defend him or her self against this evolving force.  Internet communities all over the world are handling the malware crisis differently, but the general consensus is that the ISPs are in the best position to combat malicious activities such as infected network traffic and child pornography.

A Call to Action: ISPs and Botnets

This paper is a call to action to service providers to step up and take the reins of the botnet threat pandemic.  Too much time has passed, too much damage has been done, yet the threats continue to escalate in severity.  Service providers are the best positioned to combat the threat, have a moral obligation to do so, and have significant financial incentives to defend their customers.

New Whitepaper: Dark Side Intelligence

Over the past several years, a new type of threat has emerged on the Internet – the botnet.  Using command and control servers deployed in the dark corners of cyberspace, criminal enterprises have evolved into serious threats to businesses and consumers alike.  These threats have emerged despite the ubiquitous presence of traditional antivirus and endpoint security products.  These products have proven an ineffective defense against botnets and have yet to adapt to the changing threat landscape.

Highlights of Verizon's 2010 Annual Report

This month, Verizon and the United States Secret Service teamed up to put together Verizon’s annual top-notch security report, “2010 Data Breach Investigations.”  This document is regarded by professionals in the industry as the single most important IS report that comes out all year, and this year’s did not disappoint.  The report highlights a number of recent malware trends and security suggestions that fit directly in with Umbra Data’s Dark Side Intelligence botnet mitigation solution.

What commonalities exist?

Hiding Behind a Wall with Holes

In the previous article we used the analogy of a seat belt to illustrate the effectiveness of anti-virus software. It is a safety feature that will possibly help you only in the event of a crash, and cannot prevent the crash. A seat belt in combination with an airbag, maintained brakes, properly functioning traffic lights, etc… would give you reason to feel protected while operating your vehicle. The problem is that not all drivers are familiar with the mechanics of a car and therefore do not know if the equipment is adequate or operating properly.