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CSRIC Adopts Recs. to Minimize Three Major Cyber Threats

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Released: March 22, 2012

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



March 22, 2012
Neil Grace, 202-418-0506




Chairman Genachowski applauds voluntary commitments by nation’s largest Internet Service Providers,
including AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile and Verizon to better
secure their communications networks and protect consumers and business
Washington, D.C.—Today, an industry advisory group for the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC), the Communications, Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), unanimously
adopted recommendations for voluntary action by Internet service providers (ISPs) to combat three major
cyber security threats, including botnets, attacks on the Domain Name System (DNS), and Internet route
hijacking. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski applauded the public commitments of many of the
nation’s largest ISPs to implement these best practices.
CSRIC is a federal advisory committee established at the direction of the FCC Chairman to provide
recommendations regarding the security, reliability, and interoperability of the nation’s communications
system. Currently, CSRIC is composed of more than 50 communications experts from the private sector
(including ISPs), public safety, consumer organizations and tribal, local, state and federal governments.
Chairman Genachowski said, “The recommendations approved today identify smart, practical, voluntary
solutions that will materially improve the cyber security of commercial networks and bolster the broader
endeavors of our federal partners.”
CSRIC Chair and CEO and President of CenturyLink, Glen F. Post, III, said, “I commend the industry for
recognizing the importance of these voluntary initiatives and the continued willingness to work
cooperatively to seek meaningful solutions.”
Miriam Perlberg, Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policies on the National Security Staff, congratulated
the CSRIC on its voluntary, multi-stakeholder and industry-based approach. She stated, “Successfully
combating botnets is a whole of government and whole of industry approach. The White House believes,
as the CSRIC's recommendations make clear and Commerce’s data supports, a multi-stakeholder
approach is needed to notify, educate, remediate and measure botnet threats to consumers.”
Implementing a recommendation of the National Broadband Plan, CSRIC was tasked with developing
measures for ISPs to mitigate three major cyber threats: botnet attacks, domain name fraud, and Internet
route hijacking. Today, the advisory committee endorsed industry-based recommendations in each of
these three areas, including:


Anti-Bot Code of Conduct:

To reduce the threat of botnets in residential networks, CSRIC
recommended a voluntary U.S. Anti-Bot Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers (Anti-
Bot Code). Under the Anti-Bot Code, ISPs agree to educate consumers about the botnet threat,
take steps to detect botnet activity on their networks, make consumers aware of botnet infections
on their computers, offer assistance to consumers whose computers are infected and collaborate
with other service providers that have also adopted the Anti-Bot Code.

DNS Best Practices:

CSRIC recommended that ISPs implement best practices to better secure
the Domain Name System. DNS works like a telephone book for the Internet, but lack of security
for DNS has enabled spoofing, allowing Internet criminals to coax credit card numbers and
personal data from users who do not realize they are on an illegitimate website. DNSSEC is a set
of secure protocol extensions that prevent such fraudulent activity. This recommendation is a
significant first step toward full DNSSEC implementation by ISPs and will allow users, with
software applications like browsers, to validate that the destination they are trying to reach is
authentic and not a spoofed website.

IP Route Hijacking Industry Framework:

CSRIC recommended an industry framework to
prevent Internet route hijacking, which is the erroneous routing of Internet traffic through
potentially untrustworthy networks. CSRIC recommended that ISPs work to implement new
technologies and practices to reduce the number of these events, thereby ensuring that users in the
U.S. can be more confident that their Internet traffic will not be exposed to scrutiny by other
networks, foreign or domestic, through misrouting.
Chairman Genachowski strongly reiterated that privacy must not be compromised for the sake of security.
He also announced that CSRIC is being tasked with preparing future recommendations to ensure that the
best practices endorsed today will protect the privacy of Internet users. Last month, Chairman
Genachowski urged the multi-stakeholder Internet community to find industry-led, non-regulatory
solutions to secure our nation’s networks.
In response, several of the nation’s largest ISPs participating in CSRIC, including AT&T, CenturyLink,
Comcast, Cox, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, pledged today to implement the CSRIC
recommendations. Other ISPs, such as T-Mobile, have agreed to implement those recommendations that
apply to their network architecture. When fully implemented, these measures will strengthen the security
of the networks of the ISPs that provide Internet access to over 50 percent of residential broadband users.
As the nation’s expert agency on communications, the FCC has long history of engagement with private
and public sector partners on network reliability and security. Voluntary, multi-stakeholder actions
exemplified by CSRIC’s recommendations, and the corporate commitments announced today, are the
most effective approach for securing our networks while preserving the Internet as an open platform for
innovation and communication.
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