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Enhancing the Resilience of the Internet and Communications Ecosystem Against Botnets and Other Automated, Distributed Threats

This report responds to the May 11, 2017, Executive Order, “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure.” That order called for “resilience against botnets and other automated, distributed threats,” directing the Secretary of Commerce, together with the Secretary of Homeland Security, to “lead an open and transparent process to identify and promote action by appropriate stakeholders” with the goal of “dramatically reducing threats perpetrated by automated and distributed attacks (e.g., botnets).”

The Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security worked jointly on this effort through three approaches—hosting two workshops, publishing two requests for comment, and initiating an inquiry through the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC)—aimed at gathering a broad range of input from experts and stakeholders, including private industry, academia, and civil society. These activities all contributed to the information-gathering process for the agencies developing the recommendations in this report.

The Departments worked in consultation with the Departments of Defense, Justice, and State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the sector-specific agencies, the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission, and other interested agencies.