May 30, 2018

Homeland Security and Commerce Departments release botnets report

Photo: Westend61/Getty

The Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce released an eagerly awaited report on botnets today, networks of hacked devices used in other attacks — President Trump ordered the report on botnets as part of a cybersecurity executive order just over a year ago.

Why it matters: The Mirai botnet famously downed Twitter, the New York Times, Netflix and Etsy among others when it overloaded a critical internet juncture point with traffic in 2016. That type attack is known as a denial of service. Before denial of service attacks, botnets were used in massive spam operations.

Fixing the market: The report emphasized marketplace-based solutions as opposed to regulations, which it passed off as largely antithetical to innovation.

The solutions: Educating consumers to understand that insecure connected devices, from cameras to computers, can result in these attacks.

  • Anticipating that most industries will autonomously settle on bare minimum security standards as companies try to keep up with each other.
  • Using the government's purchasing power to influence the market. The feds are big buyers of connected technology, and emphasizing secure purchases can make it economically more viable to design a secure system and get federal contracts than to design an insecure one and not.
  • Encouraging companies to provide security information to allow consumers to make better choices.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 1,502,618 — Total deaths: 89,915 — Total recoveries: 339,775Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 432,554 — Total deaths: 14,829 — Total recoveries: 24,213Map.
  3. Business: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion. — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week
  4. Federal government latest: Congress' $250 billion PPP injection could come too late for some businesses.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the death toll to 60,000.
  6. Poll: 1 in 10 Americans believe the economy will never return to normal.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a press conference in March. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will support the coronavirus-hit economy with up to $2.3 trillion in loans to businesses, state and city governments — made possible in part by Treasury funds set aside in the government stimulus package.

Why it matters: The Fed has taken more action amid the coronavirus outbreak than it has in any other financial crisis in U.S. history in an effort to blunt the effects of the resulting economic shutdown.

DetailsArrowUpdated 15 mins ago - Economy & Business

Senate Democrats block Republicans' $250 billion PPP injection

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before the Paycheck Protection Program formally launched last Friday, we knew two things: The rollout would be rocky, and the initial $250 billion wouldn't be enough for America's small businesses.

The state of play: Banks and government officials have been working to smooth out the process. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempt to pump another $250 billion into the program via unanimous consent was blocked by Democrats, who are proposing an alternative.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 16 mins ago - Economy & Business