US interested in Aussie zombie code

Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA) took its e-security code of conduct to the White House, where it met with Barack Obama's cyber-security coordinator, Howard Schmidt, to discuss it as a potential model for the US internet industry to adopt.

Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA) took its e-security code of conduct to the White House, where it met with Barack Obama's cyber-security coordinator, Howard Schmidt, to discuss it as a potential model for the US internet industry to adopt.

Informally known as the "zombie" code, the IIA released its e-security code of practice to internet service providers (ISPs) earlier this month in Australia, outlining ways they could protect their subscribers and inform them about being infected with malware. A "zombie" is a malware-infected PC.

One suggestion within the code is to put infected users into a "walled garden", which limits internet access to prevent further security problems until quarantined. Another option is to throttle the speed of an infected users' internet connection until their computer fixed.

The code is voluntary for ISPs to adopt and will come into effect by December.

IIA chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Coroneos said he met with Schmidt just three weeks ago to discuss a number of topics in Washington, one of which was the IIA's e-security code of conduct for ISPs.

He said that Schmidt told him that the IIA's code was a very impressive and leading-edge piece of work. "In fact, he went further and said he considered it a useful role model for the US as well," Coroneos said.

An international standard

As well as taking the code, formally known as the icode, to the US, Coroneos said he was hoping to make it an international standard.

At the 41st meeting of the Telecommunications and Information Working Group (APEC TEL), which was held on 6 May in Taipei, the code was discussed as a potential standard for the Asia-Pacific region.

"This code was proposed as a model for the Asia-Pacific region as part of [Australia's] capacity of building a program to try and show other economies examples of best practice that could be implemented in the region," Coroneos said. "It was held out as effectively the template."

The icode was to be carried forward to the next APEC TEL meeting, he said.

(Front page image credit: Zombie! image by Daniel Hollister, CC2.0)

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