BT ‘sharing information with other ISPs’ in move against malicious software

07 February 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


BT says it has become the first telecoms provider in the world to start sharing information about malicious software and websites on a large scale with other ISPs.

The UK company has launched a free collaborative online platform to share its threat intelligence data across the ISP community in a secure and trusted way.

This is in direct response to an initiative led by the UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to enable ISPs to share detection events.

BT Security CEO Mark Hughes said: “We believe that only by working together with government and the rest of the telecommunications industry can we collectively succeed in stemming the tide of cyber-crime. That’s why we’re urging other ISPs to join us in sharing threat information in a more open and collaborative way.”

BT said it has identified and shared over 200,000 malicious domains since starting to share threat information at the end of 2017. It notes that it is preventing the delivery of 50 million malicious emails with 2,000 unique malicious attachments every month – that’s almost 20 malicious emails every second.

Hughes added: “We’ve been taking a more proactive and automated approach to blocking malicious code and harmful website content on our infrastructure for some time, in line with the NCSC’s active cyber defence strategy. This allows us to mitigate a high volume of cyber threats before they have a chance to take hold and impact our customers. By sharing our malware data, we’re empowering other ISPs to provide their customers with the same level of protection, should they choose to take action.”

BT said it has taken the step of sharing data relating to malware because it believes that the most effective way to bolster the UK’s defences against cyber-crime is through greater collaboration and the exchange of information. “If other ISPs join BT in actively sharing threat intelligence data, this will help the entire industry to develop and strengthen a collective shield which will help to protect all customers by taking action within the UK’s communications networks,” said the company.

BT combines threat intelligence data provided by the NCSC and its domain name system (DNS) security provider partners with its own data generated by its cyber security platform, which uses big data analytics to identify threats before they occur.