After PSN And XBL Attacks, Obama Outlines Plans To Thwart DDoS Assaults

Thanks, Obama.

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In an effort to combat an "unprecedented threat" of hacking against public and private networks, The White House has outlined a new plan to help stop, among other things, DDoS attacks, the likes of which damaged the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live over last month.

In a statement on the White House website titled "Securing Cyberspace," the executive office and US President Barack Obama called on Congress to work together to "defend the nation's systems" from cyberattacks from rogue hackers, organized crime, and even nations.

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."

As Kotaku points out, federal agencies going after botnets would likely make attacks like the ones perpetrated against PSN and Xbox Live tougher to pull off. While it likely wouldn't eradicate such attacks altogether, it certainly sounds like it could help.

The Entertainment Software Association, the group that represents the video game industry's interests in Washington, released a statement in support of Obama's new security proposals.

"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," ESA president Michael D. Gallagher said. "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," he added. "The Entertainment Software Association will work with the White House and Congressional leaders to fine tune these proposals and help enhance penalties for those who inflict consumer damage on a mass scale."

Of course, there is no guarantee that Obama's proposal will ever become realized. But it certainly sounds like a step in the right direction. You can read the entire cybersecurity proposal here.

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