FCC Asks Internet Providers to Strengthen Network Security


Internet-service providers should adopt an industrywide standard to help keep hackers from taking over customers’ computers, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said.

Providers of high-speed Internet service, such as Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and AT&T Inc. (T), should create a voluntary code of conduct to help protect against so-called botnets that secretly infect computers, Genachowski said in a speech today in Washington. He urged providers to take steps to thwart schemes that hijack Internet traffic and direct consumers to fraudulent websites.

“Cyber attacks pose a critical threat to our economic future and national security,” Genachowski said. “If you shut down the Internet, you’d shut down our economy.” Genachowski’s remarks add to debate in Washington over how to strengthen security of computer networks. A bipartisan Senate bill introduced last week would require tougher defenses by companies running systems essential to U.S. economic and national security.