News

President Obama Proposes Initiatives Aimed At Stopping DDoS And Other Cyber Attacks

by Mike Futter on Jan 14, 2015 at 08:26 AM

Yesterday, President Obama announced proposals that seek to curb a variety of forms of cybercrime. The measure would revamp the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to include cybercrime, including theft and sale of personal financial data.

The President’s proposal also calls for criminal prosecution to stop the sale of botnets used in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks like those suffered by Xbox Live and PlayStation Network multiple times recently. It would also give the legal system the means with which to pursue those responsible for initiating such attacks.

In addition to the attacks on online gaming networks, Sony Pictures suffered a major breach in December that led to exposure of confidential documents and emails. Earlier this week, hackers claiming to be allied with terrorist group ISIS took over the U.S. Central Command Twitter account.

The Entertainment Software Association today issued a statement endorsing the President’s proposal. “Cyber attacks threaten our country’s security and prosperity. We commend President Obama’s leadership in providing law enforcement the tools necessary to detect and prosecute organized digital crime,” says ESA president and CEO Michael D. Gallagher. “Consumers need to be protected from illegal, malicious botnets and denial-of-service attacks. They deserve to enjoy an innovative and dynamic Internet free of this criminal activity.”

Gallagher says that his organization will work with the White House and Congress to prepare the proposals. 

[Source: SFGate, ESA]

 

Our Take
Stricter measures that include DDoS and group financial cybercrimes under the RICO act are necessary steps given the role technology plays in our society. I’m eager to find out what Congress determines to be the suitable punishment for DDoS instigators.