SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 24, 2004 — Today at RSA Conference 2004, an information security event, Microsoft Corp. officially announced formation of the Global Infrastructure Alliance for Internet Safety (GIAIS). With the goal of fostering industry collaboration, GIAIS is a working group designed to drive a more secure Internet environment for consumers by working with leading service providers from around the world to help keep their 150 million customers more secure on the Internet. Members around the world include BT, Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd., Cox Communications Inc., EarthLink Inc., KT (Korea Telecom), MSN® , NTT Communications, Planet Internet, Shaw Communications Inc., TDC, T-Online, TeliaSonera, Tiscali SpA, United Online Inc., Wanadoo and Xtra (Telecom New Zealand Ltd.).
"The goal of GIAIS is to provide consumers with a safer Internet experience by helping to educate and protect them against the threat of malicious code attacks as well as emerging Internet threats," said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president of the Communications and Mobile Solutions Group at Microsoft. "This is part of an ongoing commitment by Microsoft to work hard across all its divisions and in alliance with service providers to help provide a more secure Internet environment for our mutual customers."
GIAIS Works for a Safer Internet Experience
With unprecedented collaboration and information sharing, Microsoft and GIAIS members are reducing the customer burden for managing their systems' security, empowering consumers to achieve safer online computing, utilizing tools and guidance to help protect and restore consumers from security breaches, and establishing swift communication channels between the GIAIS members for timely emergency response in the event of a virus strike. The alliance is already active, and Microsoft is soliciting members for feedback on technology and program enhancements to jointly enable a more secure Internet environment.
"Participating in industrywide initiatives such as GIAIS is part of EarthLink's multifaceted approach to combat the perils of the Internet and provide the best possible online experience for all users," said Linda Beck, executive vice president of operations for EarthLink. "We believe this collaboration between Internet service providers and Microsoft will help create a more efficient framework for dealing with industrywide security issues."
"Shaw is committed to continually improving the Internet experience for our valued customers," said Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications. "We are encouraged with the programs already being implemented by GIAIS and the opportunity to work with Microsoft and other ISPs in addressing shared security concerns on a global scale."
"We continuously strive to evolve security practices for our Cox High Speed Internet services and have already seen the benefits to be realized in sharing best practices with other service providers," said Jeff Hartley, manager of Engineering Security and Abuse at Cox Communications. "As modern threats to Internet security cross geographic and technological boundaries, the need for GIAIS is clear. Cox is eager to share its learning with this forum and to contribute to the betterment of Internet experience worldwide."
"Security threats have no respect for national borders, so it makes sense to have a global, coordinated response," said Chris Thompson, head of Internet and Online Marketing at Xtra, Telecom New Zealand's Internet provider. "GIAIS lets us share our experiences, learn from them and respond to future threats more quickly."
GIAIS Delivers Real Value to Customers
Through the GIAIS program, an environment has been created where service providers can help influence and improve Microsoft's support and service for consumers during security breaches. As a working group, GIAIS has already been called into action as members worked to address the recent Mydoom virus and its many variants. With the emergence of Mydoom, GIAIS members performed a critical role in working with Microsoft to identify the virus signature and develop remediation tactics to help protect consumers. Worm characteristics were defined, activity and behavior on ISPs' environments were reported, and syndicated content outlining virus information and remedies were delivered for GIAIS members to alert and assist their customers.
In addition, the recent release of the Blaster Cleaner tool, a Microsoft technology designed to clean and inoculate a Blaster-infected PC, was a result of a technical dialogue between Microsoft and a GIAIS member. The Blaster Cleaner tool has helped clean and better secure the Internet connections of more than 8 million Internet users.
"A safe computing environment is critical to consumers' Internet experience, as well as to the ultimate success of service providers and technology vendors. A highly collaborative 'rapid response' capability is an important step forward for all involved constituencies," said Rob Rich, executive vice president of Communications Infrastructure Strategies at Yankee Group. "The GIAIS program demonstrates a strong commitment by major industry players to provide a safer computing experience for the consumer."
Additional background about GIAIS is available at http://www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/giais .
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