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Category: Various

Seven Cyber-Guardians Now Hold the Keys to the Internet

Written on August 03, 2010 by Japhet Writ

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Internet users might think that the world wide web is a free platform for everyone and everything. Think again. Because when the time comes that a massive cyber attack occurs, there are guardians that can reboot the whole system.

You may have heard last month’s rumor of “kill switch” in case a critical cyber attack takes place. Although this rumor turns out to be too much, there are now seven unknown individuals who are holding the keys to the . These seven cyber-guardians will be responsible for rebooting the web in the aftermath of cyber attack. While locked deep in the US bunker, these trustees from around the world received their keys.  However, these cyber-guardians are not military in nature.

The non-profit watchdog, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers () oversees the Internet safety programs. They have access to the security system designed to protect users from cyber fraud and virtual attacks. Part of their scheme is the Domain Name System Security that ensures web sites are registered and signed. This is the security measure built into the Web that guarantees that you arrive at a real site when going to a URL. Since most major servers are part of , they can split the connections between important servers during major international attack.

At least five from the seven key holders have to converge at a US base with their key to restart the system and reconnect everything. But it’s nothing dramatic. The keys are actually smartcards that contain parts of the DNSSEC root key. This root key can be thought as the whole scheme’s master key. It is interesting to know that there are indeed individuals that hold the actual key that can reboot the Internet as we know it.

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