Level 3 Fights Hackers

Level 3 Communications is a multinational telecommunications company and ISP. This company is taking a unique approach of fighting the war against cyber crime.

The charge is led by Brett Wentworth, Level 3’s security director. Instead of reacting to a hack attack, he’s preventing one. He cut off data from reaching a group of Chinese servers. It’s believed these servers were involved in an active hacking. This decision wasn’t Wentworth’s alone. It was made after a decision making meeting. Many say this is a risky approach because hackers often attack legitimate machines, raising the risk of damage by turning away a business using the same servers. But in the last several years, the attacks have increased all over the cyber world with frequency and intensity. The people at Level 3 believe it’s worth the risk. And this incident hasn’t been the only one. In fact, every three weeks or so, Level 3 shuts down questionable traffic that doesn’t involve customers. If the source of this traffic is hard to discover, it intercepts traffic from large blocks of Internet addresses. One time, that meant stopping a large bunch of traffic from Hong Kong that was dubbed ‘junk’. Wentworth and other Level 3 security leaders remain unapologetic. Brett Wentworth himself said in a statement, “Sometimes you have to cut off the finger to save the body.”

If this came out five years ago, I would consider the Level 3 approach extreme. But in 2015, my question is, why aren’t more communication/Internet companies following suit? In the past year alone, billions of dollars have been lost and many lives have been destroyed due to cyber crime. All it takes is one threat and one hacker to ruin it all. I applaud Level 3 in their actions and we all need to protect ourselves from the fastest growing threat to our society today. What will it take to wake Internet companies up to this?

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