FCC Chairman calls for increased cybersecurity measures

The FCC chairman has called for a step-up in the fight against cybercrime.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, called on ISPs Wednesday to invoke increased security measures to combat cybercrime.

The FCC chairman suggested that U.S. service providers should notify subscribers when their computers are compromised; through malware, botnet attacks, IP hijacking and other kinds of cyber warfare.

Rather than enforcing government-led mandates, Genachowski believes that in order to protect against growing threats to national security and the economy, the solutions to the problem should be industry-led.

One method in particular that the chairman highlighted is the use of DNSSEC, a more secure version of DNS entries, which hosts a number of security-based tools that help sure Internet domains against attacks. However, the adoption of this technology has been sluggish at best.

In a speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Genachowski said:

"The cyberthreat is growing. If we fail to tackle these challenges, we will pay the price in the form of diminished safety, lost privacy, lost jobs and financial vulnerability -- billions of dollars potentially lost to digital criminals."

Not only this, but there is also the future possibility of subscribers loosing faith in ISP services that are not secure enough against constantly-evolving methods of cybercrime. IP hijacking and domain name fraud are currently the priorities outlined by the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council.

As part of a "multi-stakeholder process" to combat cybercriminals, the chairman recommended that multiple parties need to become involved if future security will be effective:

  • U.S. Internet service providers can help fight botnets by detecting infections on subscriber's computer and notifying them as a result.
  • The development of secure routing standards (DNSSEC) to tackle IP highjacking must be supported.
  • The industry as a whole should work together in order to develop new ways to improve security across all kinds of networks.

ISP Comcast has pledged its support in the effort to combat security issues. The president of Comcast, Kyle McSlarrow, responded in a blog post:

"Comcast agrees with Chairman Genachowski that protecting American consumers, businesses and governments from cybersecurity threats should be a global priority. To be effective, everyone who is a part of the Internet ecosystem must play a meaningful role in ensuring that private and government networks, and personal computers and devices are secured."

Image credit: CNet


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