TELECOMS GIANT BT has begun sharing data about malicious software and websites with rival ISPs, and it wants everyone to know about it.
BT boasted on Wednesday that it has become the "world's first" telco to share such information with competitors and is urging other broadband providers to follow in its footsteps.
The firm has created a free-to-use collaborative platform where members of the ISP community can access its threat intelligence data. It said the move will "protect consumers and businesses from the global cybercrime industry".
It said the platform is a "direct response" to an initiative from National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) that encourages communications firms to share malware threat information.
With this development, BT will alert its competitors about "any malicious domains associated with malware control that it identifies using its advanced threat intelligence capabilities.
As a result, ISPs are better placed to "choose whether to take any action to protect their customers by blocking such harmful malware", said BT.
Since the end of last year, BT's global team of 2,500 cybersecurity experts have identified and shared more than 200,000 dodgy website domains.
They are "currently preventing the delivery of 50 million malicious emails with 2,000 unique malicious attachments every month", which translates into 20 malicious emails every second.
BT explained that it has been consulting the government's Active Cyber Defence Strategy and tapping into DNS technologies to automatically block malware infections.
Mark Hughes, CEO of BT Security, said being open about threats is "an important step in helping the government achieve its aim of making the UK the safest place to live and do business online"
"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," he said.
"That's why we're urging other ISPs to join us in sharing threat information in a more open and collaborative way."
Dr Ian Levy, technical director for the NCSC, praised BT's move. He said: "This is a fantastic initiative that will help provide broader protection of cyber threats facing the UK.
"Networks will be able to exchange detections in real time so that UK citizens can be protected by their ISP by default and for free, as part of the National Cyber Security Centre's Active Cyber Defence programme.
"This unprecedented level of sharing and exchange will have a positive impact across the whole security community by helping us to collectively understand our adversaries and reduce the impact of cyber attacks." µ
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