President Obama Steps Up Cyber Security Laws

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Botnets are the system of choice when it comes to executing service-crippling DDoS attacks.
Botnets are the system of choice when it comes to executing service-crippling DDoS attacks.

[dropcap size=small]F[/dropcap]ollowing the arrest of an 18 year old UK citizen charged with taking part in the Christmas Day DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks against Playstation Network and Xbox Live, President Obama announced that the US government will be stepping up its commitment to protecting the web from such attacks. The President called on Congress to begin working on a set of laws that would make the tracking and thwarting of cyber criminals easier for law enforcement. Not long afterwards, Congress came back with an early draft of the legislation.

One section of the legislation specifically mentions DDoS attacks. The passage, Modernizing Law Enforcement Authorities to Combat Cyber Crime,” says the proposal would:

  • “Allow for the prosecution of the sale of botnets.”
  • “Criminalize the overseas sale of stolen U.S. financial information like credit card and bank account numbers.”
  • “Expand federal law enforcement authority to deter the sale of spyware used to stalk or commit ID theft.”
  • “Would give courts the authority to shut down botnets engaged in distributed denial of service attacks and other criminal activity.”

While these laws would absolutely make launching attacks like the one on Christmas Day, there is no way for governments to completely remove the threat presence of DDoS. The ability to track and shut down botnets like the one used to cripple the PSN and XBL networks is a huge step forward in the process of ensuring the safety and convenience of paying customers across the US.

 

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