Cyber “Chain of Trust” to Fight Malware

By Matthew Harwood

Three cybersecurity groups  announced today they will team up to fight malware’s growing threat to computer networks, reports

The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC), the National Cyber Security Alliance and rolled out a new program Tuesday called the Chain of Trust. The Chain of Trust Initiative will attempt to link together security vendors, researchers, government agencies, Internet-based companies, network providers and education groups in a united front against malware.

The coalition says finding new collaborative ways to combat malware is important as cybercriminals move toward targeting social networking sites rather than e-mail. The group, quoting findings from Kaspersky Labs, says malware is ten times more likely to be successfully distributed by social networking sites than e-mail.
Shawn Henry, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, told an ANC workshop that the top three threats to cybersecurity are foreign intelligence agencies, organized criminal groups, and terrorist sympathizers. The FBI, he said, is looking to share information on attack methods and enemies with the private sector to bolster cybersecurity.
"If we can identify specific signatures, if we can identify new attack vectors the adversaries are using, if we can get that intelligence out to the private sector, there's great value there," Henry said.
The ASC’s new focus on malware seeks to repeat its successful earlier campaign against adware, notes.
That campaign galvanized the larger Internet community to protest adware—Ari Schwartz, ASC's coordinator and vice president at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told—and drove the big adware peddlers out of business.
Over the next few months, the Chain of Trust Initiative will reach out to key industry players to map out the organizations necessary to fight malware and identify critical areas of collaboration.
According to the coalition’s press release, the mapping process is crucial to the initiative’s success.

Only by identifying all the vulnerable links and understanding how they connect to one another can malware fighters get a handle on the problem and begin to develop consensus solutions.

The coalition expects to produce a report within six months that tracks the progress of the mapping project and provides some initial recommendations to strengthen “the chain of trust.”


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