FCC Says ISPs Need to be Proactive about Safeguarding the Web

February 24, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It’s time for some proactive participation from the part of the Internet Service Providers to fight data theft and internet fraud, thinks the FCC.

The chairman of Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, has been quoted as saying that such an action from Internet Service Providers is difficult  in the face of alarmingly rising data theft issues.

His reaction may be seen as based on the fact that internet fraud and stealing of valuable data have sky rocketed as of late. It is estimated that 8.4 million credit card numbers are being stolen online every year.

Expressing his concern over the grim situation, the FCC Chairman said he is seeking smart, practical and voluntary solutions to solve the issue.

What he suggested to ISPs is that they take proactive steps to inform consumers who have infected with botnets (a type of virus that use group of infected systems for sending spam messages and data theft) and other types of viruses by monitoring the changes in traffic.

The chairman has also urged the Internet Service Providers to make use of DNSSEC, a system which makes sure that customers of internet banking services will not fall victim to spoofing attempts.

The system will make it sure that they visit the actual website of the bank and not some fraudulent website which tries to steal information.

The suggestions are very much lauded by security experts and the general public. First of all, it is the ISP who can understand the botnet activity on the first hand, due to the changing nature of the traffic.

In fact, sending a notification to the user will be easier for them, since many consumers will call the ISP once they find their systems getting slow due to such attacks. Prior notification from the provider will thus help both the provider and the consumer.

We think the suggestions should be turned into routine practice soon. Players like Comcast are already on the way of adopting such measures. However, it is yet to see how effective it will be against state sponsored espionage.

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