Feeds

Pig plague could crash interwebs, say US feds

DHS bandwidth rationing?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A severe outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic could overwhelm internet providers' capacity, according to a report submitted Monday, which called on Department of Homeland Security officials to develop contingency plans to avert such a crisis.

"Concerns exist that a more severe pandemic outbreak than 2009's could cause large numbers of people staying home to increase their internet use and overwhelm internet providers' network capacities," according to the report, which was prepared by the US Government Accountability Office.

It went on to warn that the congestion might be so acute that stock brokers and other securities market employees would be unable to telework from home. The authors said the DHS, which is responsible for making sure critical networks remain operational during emergencies, needs to consider ways to mitigate the threat and held out the rationing of customer bandwidth or the blocking of websites as possibilities.

"Private Internet providers have limited ability to prioritize traffic or take other actions that could assist critical teleworkers," the report stated. "Some actions, such as reducing customers' transmission speeds or blocking popular Web sites, could negatively impact e-commerce and require government authorization. However, DHS has not developed a strategy to address potential Internet congestion or worked with federal partners to ensure that sufficient authorities to act exist."

The authors also floated a possible "campaign to obtain public cooperation to reduce nonessential internet use to relieve congestion."

By contrast, networks used by security exchanges would most likely survive because they generally bypass the public internet.

A PDF of the report is available here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.