CRTC launches consultation on proposed framework to address botnets

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched a consultation on its proposed framework to address botnets.

Botnets are essentially harmful networks of malware-infected computers that are under the control of a malicious actor.

“The commission is seeking comments on the appropriateness and need for telecommunications service providers to adopt blocking techniques within their networks, including what safeguards would be necessary to ensure privacy, transparency and effectiveness,” the CRTC notes.

Botnets are able to facilitate damaging cyber attacks, including ransomware and identify theft. The CRTC notes that these attacks cause harm to critical organizations such as hospitals, schools and government bodies.

It outlines that measures to block botnet traffic could prevent these types of attacks. Canadians are being invited to submit their comments by March 21st by either filling out an online form, writing to the secretary general or by sending a fax to 819-994-0218.

“Malicious botnet attacks are a serious and recurring concern. Almost every week, we see another organization victimized by ransomware or hear of a fellow citizen lured in by a phishing scam,” said CRTC chairperson Ian Scott in an emailed release.

“With the launch of this proceeding, we are aiming to better protect Canadian individuals, businesses and institutions against damaging botnet activity.’’

The commission’s preliminary view is that network-level blocking is a feasible strategy to prevent botnets from operating.

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