The world of Internet threats has changed continually over the years. From the time that a "worm" first showed up in the wild, or whenever someone penetrated a system without authorization for the first time, various forms of attacks and malware have presented dangers to the system and those who use it.
Different vectors have received varied focus over the years. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and botnets have received significant headlines recently. Many parts of the Internet community have been involved in addressing relevant issues and fostering efforts to combat them. Public Interest Registry has made it a priority to be part of those efforts. We have been active generally among the anti-abuse community, attending programs such as at the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance in Pittsburgh, PA, and the Organization of American States in Washington, DC. We also sponsored and participated in a DDoS forum, Mitigating DDoS Attacks, A Global Challenge, in New York last December, as well as anti-botnet workshops conducted by the Online Trust Alliance.
Most recently, we have worked to foster conversations through organizing panels at Anti-Phishing Working Group meetings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. These panels brought experts together from around the world so that they could share their experience and expertise. The Buenos Aires program, for example, included representatives of the .co and .cl registries, cert.br, a malware researcher from Brazil, a representative of the Argentinian ISP association, and an expert in European anti-malware efforts. A member of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police cyber unit also contributed from the floor. In addition, I shared some of what I have learned during my time with Internet law enforcement,the Federal Trade Commission, and subsequent work.
These initiatives did not produce epiphanies on solving botnet issues, and it appears that the problem is not going to be solved through panels, meetings or studies. However, the problem can be addressed through what happens at these events in order to help the work progress forward. Some concepts have been clear through our involvement:
These points are lessons from our observations, and should not be considered a comprehensive list. No list could be, truly because of the changing nature and increasing sophistication of threats to the Internet. For this reason, Public Interest Registry will continue to work with the Internet community to do our part in combatting botnets, DDoS attacks, and other critical threats to the Internet as they evolve.
By Don Blumenthal, Senior Policy Advisor at PIR
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