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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    The .root Saga Continues | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 8 comments | Search Discussion
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    Can the ICANN Board and Staff Grasp Technology ??
    by Anonymous on Monday May 01 2006, @01:38PM (#16738)
    Can the ICANN Board and Staff Grasp Technology ??

    What if a quiz was developed ? Would the ICANN
    Board be able to pass it ?

    Sample Question: What is a DHT and how is it
    used in the next generation DNS ?

    Would all of the ICANN groupies that jet-set
    around to meetings be able to grasp anything in
    depth ?

    "When I engage in discussions of internet governance I find that the majority of the people involved have, at best, a tenuous grasp of the technology they are trying to regulate." - Karl (ex-officio elected ICANN Board member)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Can the ICANN Board and Staff Grasp Technology
    by Anonymous on Monday May 01 2006, @01:45PM (#16739)
    Big holes in net's heart revealed
    By Mark Ward
    Technology Correspondent, BBC News website

    Simple attacks could let malicious hackers take over more than one-third of the net's sites, reveals research.

    The finding was uncovered by researchers who analysed how the net's addressing system works.

    They also found that if the simple attacks were combined with so-called denial-of-service attacks, 85% of the net becomes vulnerable to take-over.

    The researchers recommended big changes to the net's addressing system to tackle the vulnerability at its heart.

    Site seizing

    When you visit a website, such as news.bbc.co.uk, your computer often asks one of the net's address books, or domain name servers, for information about where that site resides.

    But the number of computers that have to be consulted to find the computers where that site is located often makes sites vulnerable to attack by vandals and criminals, found Assistant Professor Emin Gun Sirer and Venugopalan Ramasubramanian from the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University.

    Professor Sirer told the BBC News website that, on average, 46 computers holding different information about the components of net addresses are consulted to find out where each dotcom site is actually hosted.

    But, he said, this chain of dependencies between the computers that look after the different parts of net addresses creates all kinds of vulnerabilities that clever hackers could easily exploit.

    "The growth of the internet has caused these dependencies to emerge," said Professor Sirer. "Instead of having to compromise one you can compromise any one of the three dozen."

    All the information gathered and analysed by the researchers has to be publicly available to keep the net's addressing system working. The research analysed information about almost 600,000 computers.

    The research also revealed that 17% of the servers that host the net's address books are vulnerable to attack via widely known exploits.

    "Because of these dependencies about one-third of the net's names are trivially compromisable by script kiddies," he said.

    One site vulnerable in this way was run by the FBI, said Professor. Sirer. Although the five computers that act as the first reference point for the fbi.gov domain were secure, one of the five that connect to these has yet to install a patch for a well-known bug.

    That computer was fixed after the Cornell team reported its findings to the FBI, but hundreds of thousands of sites suffer from similar problems.

    The most vulnerable net domain found by the survey was that of the Roman Catholic Church in the Ukraine.

    Criminals such as phishing gangs would be interested in re-directing traffic from well-known sites so they can grab key login and personal details that would help them de-fraud web users.

    The research had exposed a big problem that net administrators need to tackle, said Professor Sirer. Thought should be given to using a secure version of the system used to pass around information about net addresses.
    "The domain name system has been incredibly successful so far but it is showing its age," he said. "We need to re-think the entire naming infrastructure of the internet."
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Can the ICANN Board and Staff Grasp Technology
    by Anonymous on Monday May 01 2006, @03:17PM (#16743)
    Former FCC chairman Michael Powell is up on the stage at the Freedom to
    Connect conference right now, and he warns the tech elite crowd here not to
    be naive about the dangers of asking Congress for legislation on Net
    Neutrality. As he explains:

    The legislative process does not work well when it has a weak understanding
    of innovation and tech policy. You are talking about 535 members who need
    to to get this. They have a very shallow understanding [of Net Neutrality].
    If you go give them a quiz about the seven layers of the Internet, good

    You live by the sword, you die by the sword. It is much harder get a law
    off the books than to get it on. Someone will think it is a good idea to
    apply the same rules to the other side's products and services. Be careful
    because you are playing their game [the telcos']. We are talking about
    resources, ability, and 100 years of skill.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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