In response to a United Press International report that China has amassed a botnet of 750,000 computers located in the US, the US has mandated a 2-year timeline to force all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and customers of those ISPs to run government-sponsored botnet-like programs on their computers. All US computers could then be called into service in the event the US finds itself in a cyber war, or needs to protects its cyber interest by launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) pre-emptive strikes against its enemies.
A former senior U.S. information security official says there are nearly three-quarter million personal computers in the United States taken over by Chinese hackers.
US officials hope that by mandating installed software on US citizen-owned computers, they can call up these forces when needed to form the largest and most powerful botnet in the world, and reclaim dominance of cyberspace. These measures were rushed through Congress and the Senate and have been approved for immediate action.
An anonymous DHS official enthusiastically commented, “Some systems may be put to work cracking password hashes pilfered from enemy systems, while others may scan the Internet for vulnerable enemy systems, and even others can actively be used to attack other systems in the world. Basically, when needed, we could take control of the system in the background, unbeknownst to the user.”
He also added, in concern for ISP cooperation, “ISPs will be forced to require their customers to install our software. They risk losing rights to lines and bandwidth, let alone government penalties, should they not comply.”
This software in question is nearing completion, and the software development firm, still a highly secretive organization close to Silicon Valley with ties to Washington, DC, will run in the background of Windows and Mac systems, with Linux versions planned for the near future. It has been rumored this organization has been working closely with specialists from the Secret Service and NSA.
The Frontier for Internet Safety is heavily opposing these new revelations from the US government, but so far has had little to officially say until they can view the software. They have also suddenly become the victim of a currently ongoing DDoS, so their site may not be available at this time. The source of the attack is still unknown.