Obama administration seeks more power to tackle botnets

The Obama administration wants greater power to shut down botnets, responding to the growing threat of cybercrime and increasingly complex, modern techniques.

As reported by ZD Net, the federal government is seeking an amendment to criminal law which would give the Department of Justice the power to obtain injunctions and disrupt malicious networks. Current law allow the authorities to issue injunctions only in certain circumstances, for crimes including fraud and illegal wiretapping.

“The scale and sophistication of the threat from botnets is increasing every day,” said Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Justice Department in a blog post.

“Individual hackers and organized criminal groups are using state-of-the-art techniques to infect hundreds of thousands — sometimes millions — of computers and cause massive financial losses, all while becoming increasingly difficult to detect. If we want security to keep pace with technological innovations by criminals, we need to ensure that we have a variety of effective tools to combat evolving cyber threats like these.”

Botnets have been of particular concern to the US government in recent months, following major networks like GameOver Zeus, which is said to have stolen more than $100 million. The FBI offered a $3 million bounty last month for information leading to the arrest of the botnet’s creator.

The proposed amendment would allow the DoJ to obtain injunctions in cases where 100 or more victims’ computer have been hacked, helping the government to shutdown malicious networks more effectively.

For more information on botnets, and how to prevent your computer becoming part of one, watch our video below;

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