Taming the Wild West of the Internet

The FCC, the CSRIC and the Major ISPs should be applauded for taking on three critical issues that greatly affect the trust and security of the Internet: botnet detection, implementation of DNSSEC, and hijacking of broadband routes.

Botnets (a collection of illegally controlled machines) are an invasion and theft of resources, not to mention the nefarious purposes for which compromised machines are then used such as DDoS attacks, spamming, data theft, key logging etc… The control of the compromised machines (commonly referred to as zombies) within a botnet can often “rented” to be used in illegal activities that require distributed and large numbers of processors. There are actually price lists for the use of botnets that have been uncovered.

Without DNSSEC, as demonstrated in 2008, domains can be spoofed and redirected. If users cannot trust that their web site visits and emails go to the intended recipient, what confidence will they have in using the Internet for anything important? And what does that mean for businesses and the economy when so many customer-facing business operations rely so heavily on the Internet?

Of these three threats, Route Hijacking is the most hidden but most dangerous one. As a customer, I assume that my information reached its intended destination, but I don’t know if my information was rerouted through a black network where it was screened and stolen.

The Internet is always in that shady zone… “Can I trust this site?” When the Internet started it was viewed as a very convenient and trendy novelty. It was an easy way to view information. Now that has all changed. It has become they way we pay bills, buy products, and manage accounts. When I am entering my credit card number or account information, I want to know that the information is going to the right location with no stops in between. Today I don’t have that assurance.

By agreeing to follow the recommendation made by the CSRIC, AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, TimeWarner Cable, and Verizon are absolutely doing the right thing to remove major threats to the trustworthiness of the Internet.

For a very good recap, checkout this article: http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/security/295722-isps-agree-to-fcc-rules-on-anti-botnet-dnssec-internet-routing