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Cybersecurity / Most Commented

Creating a National Cybersecurity Framework: Need For New Regulation?

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently released a major new study examining cybersecurity. The report, "Creating a National Framework for Cybersecurity: An Analysis of Issues and Options" discusses a variety of significant public and private cybersecurity concerns. The CRS analysis lists several broad options for addressing cybersecurity weaknesses ranging from adopting standards and certification to promulgating best practices and guidelines and use of audits among other measures. more

What is 'Pharming' and Should You Be Worried?

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! ...or is it? What is this thing called "pharming"? Put simply, it's redirection of web traffic, so that the server you think you're talking to actually belongs to a criminal. For example: you think you're talking to www.examplebank.com because it says so in the browser's address bar, but actually you're connected to www.mafia-R-us.ru. This can happen in three main ways: 1. DNS Hijack: a social engineering attack on the Internet infrastructure... more

History of SMTP

The following excerpt is from the Free Software Magazine, March 2005 Issue, written by Kirk Strauser. To read the entire article, you may download the magazine here [PDF]. Also thanks to Yakov Shafranovich for making us aware of this publication. "Spam has existed since at least 1978, when an eager DEC sales representative sent an announcement of a product demonstration to a couple hundred recipients. The resulting outcry was sufficient to dissuade most users from repeating the experiment. This changed in the late 1990s: millions of individuals discovered the internet and signed up for inexpensive personal accounts and advertisers found a large and willing audience in this new medium." more

CENTR Statement on IDN Homograph Attacks

Recently a proof of concept attack was announced on the Internet that demonstrated how a web address could be constructed that looked in some web browsers identical to that of a well known website. This technique could be used to trick a user into going to a website that they did not plan on visiting, and possibly provide sensitive information to a third party. As a result of this demonstration, there has been a number of voices calling for web browsers to disable or remove support for IDNs by default. ...CENTR, a group of many of the world's domain registries - representing over 98% of domain registrations worldwide - believes such strong reactions are heavily detrimental... more

A Postitive Look at DENIC's .Net Bid

The outcome of the .Net rebid process will involve the security, stability and diversity of management of the Internet's critical infrastructure. As well, the rebid process introduces competitive forces that will flow through to users in the form of cost savings and improved service levels. DENIC has submitted a bid that is consistent with the goals and interests of the Internet community and is the only proponent that has done so. Let us consider the following factors and assess the alignment of the bids with the goals and interests for the Internet community. more

Creating a Police State From the Ashes of the Internet

Former CIA Director, George J. Tenet recently called for measures to safeguard the United States against internet-enabled attacks. "I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability, but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control." Mr. Tenet seems about as confused about the internet as the ITU... more

Survey Predicts Attacks on the Network Infrastructure Within 10 Years

Pew Internet Project has released a report called "The Future of the Internet" based on a recently conducted survey where 1,286 internet experts are said to have looked at the future impact of the internet and assessed predictions about how technology and society will unfold. The following is and excerpt from the report predicting at least one devastating attack will occur in the next 10 years on the networked information infrastructure or the United States power grid. more

OMB Focuses On Cybersecurity

Ensuring federal cybersecurity is essential to protecting national security. According to some media reports, recommendations have been made to the Bush Administration to "create a distinct administrative cybersecurity position within the Homeland Security Department to oversee progress in the federal government and act as a liaison with private industry." However, before new bureaucracy is created, it is important to recognize the practical cybersecurity policies and projects that are already being undertaken by the Administration. more

WGIG Too Focused on Negative Side of the Internet?

The following is a report by Susan Crawford at the ICANN meeting in Cape Town where a workshop was held yesterday for increasing awareness and understanding of United Nation's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and issues that directly impact ICANN. "WSIS" is defined as a process in which governments intend to address a broad range of international legal, regulatory, economic, and policy issues related to the Internet. Some governments have proposed that an intergovernmental organization be responsible for "Internet governance," a phrase that remains undefined and some consider to include and/or mean the administration and coordination of the domain name system (DNS). more

EFF Files Brief in Support of Email Privacy

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in a case that could have a profound effect on the privacy of Internet communications. The brief argues that the decision in US v. Councilman, soon to be reheard by the full First Circuit, should be overturned. more

NCUC Group Releases Nominations

The Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) is the constituency group representing civil society organizations in the formation of domain name policy. In August 2004 it initiated a process to nominate people to serve on the UN Secretary-General's Working Group on Internet Governance, as representatives of civil society. Our purpose was to assist the Secretary-General to identify qualified and widely-supported individuals capable of serving on the WGIG on behalf of civil society. more

Averting the Internet Meltdown

A call to action went out: a small, California-based organization called People for Internet Responsibility (PFIR) posted an announcement for an urgent conference - "Preventing the Internet Meltdown." The meltdown that PFIR envisioned was not an impending technical malfunction or enemy attack. Instead, conference organizers foresaw "risks of imminent disruption" to the Internet that would come from an unlikely sector: government officials and bureaucrats working on the unglamorous-sounding problems of Internet Governance. more

Interview with United Nations Head Secretariat of WGIG

Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance, is a career diplomat, who has served as eEnvoy of the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Bern since April 2002. His main tasks include foreign policy coordination in the area of information and communication technologies, in general, and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), in particular. He chaired the negotiating group that developed an agreed text on Internet governance for the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action in December 2003... Mr Kummer says: "The time-frame is very short indeed. And the task ahead of us is daunting." more

Report from UN Spam Meeting in Geneva

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), held an ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam from 7 to 9 July 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was focused around various topics including: Scope of the problem, Technical solutions, Consumer protection and awareness, Legislation and enforcement, and International cooperation. The following is a report by William J. Drake, Senior Associate International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part III

"Competitive Bidding for new gTLDs" is the focus of part three of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...When new radio frequencies become available for commercial use, federal law requires that licenses be auctioned off to the highest qualified bidder. The FCC does a reasonably good job in designing and conducting spectrum auctions. They are often familiar in format, not much different than found for consumer goods on eBay. In other cases, such as with "Simultaneous Multiple-Round" or "combinatorial bidding," the auction design is fairly complex. Because of complexity in these cases, the FCC sponsors periodic conferences on auction theory and seminars on auction mechanics for potential bidders. more