Our first Fight the Good Fight featured Internet hero today is StopBadware.org which began as a project to experiment with ways to combat malicious software at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. In January 2010 StopBadware.org became a stand-alone nonprofit group replete with partners (Google, Mozilla and PayPal), SoftLayer (their sponsor) and data providers ( Google, NSFOCUS and Sunbelt).
There is an ongoing battle on the Internet today between good and evil. The kosher side of the Internet contributes to the good of the Internet as a whole, fostering and supporting the idea of a strong digital ecosystem for all. The evil side of the Internet exists in the dark recesses of an underground economy that target individuals, organizations, corporations, financial institutions, eCommerce and governments for the purpose of information theft, monetary gain or both.
StopBadware as an Internet Hero
Maxim Weinstein, President & Executive Director and Caitlin Condon, Raconteur of StopBadware graciously responded to my request for information about their nonprofit organization while in the midst of moving their office!
As you know, StopBadware focuses on cleaning up badware from the Web. Collective defense of the Web means that site owners, hosting providers, browser vendors, search engines, and the security industry all have to work together to share information and coordinate their defensive strategies. StopBadware works most closely with site owners and hosting providers, but these groups don’t exist in a vacuum. We therefore communicate regularly with the other constituencies I listed—engaging them in working groups, speaking to them at conferences, connecting them with each other, etc. This allows us to ensure that we’re advocating for solutions everyone can get behind and that flow together into what we hope over time will become a better defended ecosystem. –Max
An email from Caitlin further clarified their stance on BADWARE:
Essentially, the bottom line for us is this: badware is a shared problem, and it demands a shared solution. Every participant in the Internet ecosystem has a responsibility to help protect the Web from badware, and we believe it’s fundamentally important to recognize those who are (and aren’t) doing their parts. That’s what our We Stop Badware™ Web Host program is about. Quite simply, hosting providers occupy a key position in the architecture of the Web, and it’s their responsibility to protect both their customers and the Internet as a whole. We developed our Best Practices for Web Hosting Providers to make it easier for them to do this; the We Stop Badware™ program is an added incentive for hosting providers to take action and let people know about it. We’re constantly looking for ways to make it easier for people to do the right thing: be a part of the solution.
StopBadware has myriad resources and provides structured education for Internet users, website owners and web hosting providers. With software guidelines, badware alerts and a form to report badware here - StopBadware.org is a good thing!