ICANN hires hacker to keep Internet safe

Apr 29, 2011
Rod Beckstrom, chief executive officer and president of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), pictured in January 2011. The agency in charge of the world's Internet addresses on Thursday appointed veteran hacker Jeff Moss to be its chief of security.

The agency in charge of the world's Internet addresses on Thursday appointed veteran hacker Jeff Moss to be its chief of security.

Moss, whose hacker name is Dark Tangent, is the founder of Black Hat conferences as well as an infamous DefCon gathering of hackers that takes place annually in Las Vegas.

Moss will begin work Friday at the Washington, DC offices of the and Numbers () as vice president and chief security officer.

"I can think of no one with a greater understanding of the security threats facing Internet users and how best to defend against them than Jeff Moss," said ICANN chief executive Rod Beckstrom.

"He has the in-depth insider's knowledge that can only come from fighting in the trenches of the on-going war against ."

A self-described hacker for more than 20 years, Moss has a resume that includes stints at Secure Computing Corporation and in the security division of professional services firm Ernst & Young.

Moss is on the US Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council.

"I'm looking forward to bringing my skill sets to ICANN," Moss said.

"Its role in coordinating the global Internet addressing system means that it is positioned to become the leader in identifying and dealing with online threats to the Domain Name System that could affect two billion global ," he continued.

Beckstrom joined Moss at in Las Vegas last year to announce a key upgrade to the Internet that promised to stop cyber criminals from using fake websites that dupe people into downloading viruses or revealing personal data.

ICANN teamed with online security services firm VeriSign and the US Department of Commerce to give websites encrypted identification to prove they are legitimate.

The Domain Name System Extensions, referred to as DNSSEC, basically adds a secret, identifying code to each website address.

The domain name system is where the world's are registered and plays a key role in enabling computers around the world to speak with one another online.

"The global threats to the Internet's Domain Name System are in essence the digital cold war of the new millennium," said Merlin Hay, member of the British House of Lords and chairman of the Information Society Alliance.

"To win this war we need someone like Jeff Moss who understands the hacker's mindset and has the international experience to grasp that today's online attacks can come from just about anywhere on the planet."

Explore further: Second apparent leak of hacked celebrity nude pictures: US media

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User comments : 10

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Moebius
1 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2011
He and the rest should be put in jail for life, this just encourages other hackers. It's their activities that required them to need him in the first place. Showing other hackers that they can get a job after doing their criminal activities is just making the problem worse. They get hired and a new generation of hackers are ready to take their place causing problems and then hoping to get a good job to fix the problems they created.
draa
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2011
He and the rest should be put in jail for life, this just encourages other hackers. It's their activities that required them to need him in the first place. Showing other hackers that they can get a job after doing their criminal activities is just making the problem worse. They get hired and a new generation of hackers are ready to take their place causing problems and then hoping to get a good job to fix the problems they created.


A lot like our Politicans.
Kingsix
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2011
Smart move putting someone with a clue in charge.
extremity
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2011
I know that "hacker" is a term scares a lot of people, but since there are very intelligent people, who like programming, and are bored, you're bound to get some bad apples and unfortunately all you ever hear about on the news is the bad stuff. Its "hackers" who make network and internet security even possible in the first place. Its "hackers" who are in charge of digitally based security teams, its the "hackers" who are leading anti-virus developers. Those free movies and songs you download illegally with no regard to copyright? That's also "hackers." So please, at least do some research or something, before you throw out things like

He and the rest should be put in jail for life,


When you start commenting about the people who make the web secure in the first place, you are just showing your ignorance in criticizing something you know absolutely nothing about.
Moebius
not rated yet Apr 29, 2011
I know that "hacker" is a term scares a lot of people, but since there are very intelligent people, who like programming, and are bored, you're bound to get some bad apples and unfortunately all you ever hear about on the news is the bad stuff. Its "hackers" who make network and internet security even possible in the first place. Its "hackers" who are in charge of digitally based security teams, its the "hackers" who are leading anti-virus developers. Those free movies and songs you download illegally with no regard to copyright? That's also "hackers." So please, at least do some research or something, before you throw out things like

He and the rest should be put in jail for life,


When you start commenting about the people who make the web secure in the first place, you are just showing your ignorance in criticizing something you know absolutely nothing about.


OK, I should have qualified the statement with hackers that purposely cause harm.
Moebius
not rated yet Apr 29, 2011
I know a lot more than nothing about it. I've had plenty of experience programming. I don't know when compression was invented but I developed my own compression routines when I was doing graphics for the Timex Spectrum.

I consider a hacker as someone who does bad, I consider the people you are talking about programmers. If I am using the term hacker incorrectly, my mistake but it is people who hack to do harm that I am talking about only.
Birthmark
not rated yet Apr 29, 2011
What form of logic is this? Is there a name for doing something that seems counter intuitive or hypocritical? I love when people hire hackers to help their security systems, or people hire thieves to break into their store to see how easily it can be done.

Too bad not enough people think in this way. This logic needs to be applied to other things.
frajo
not rated yet Apr 30, 2011
The term "hacker" has a derogatory meaning only for those who don't have enough background knowledge. Typically, the general (as opposed to: the specialized) media.
extremity
not rated yet May 03, 2011

OK, I should have qualified the statement with hackers that purposely cause harm.


I'm not trying to be mean or anything. It is just there is a lot more meaning behind that word than just criminal activity. Maybe it'd be easier if the we referred to hackers by their hats.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2011
I know a lot more than nothing about it. I've had plenty of experience programming. I don't know when compression was invented but I developed my own compression routines when I was doing graphics for the Timex Spectrum.

I consider a hacker as someone who does bad, I consider the people you are talking about programmers. If I am using the term hacker incorrectly, my mistake but it is people who hack to do harm that I am talking about only.

Then you are not a real programmer.
The term hacker comes from the beginnings of programming.
One example of where the term was applied:
using C++ and windows api. window messages were supplied to a callback but the callback has no information of the object that the HWND belongs to. There were several hacks for this. The create_window function allowed a VOID* to be passed. it was stored with the HWND temporarily. It could be returned in the callback under the WM_CREATE message. Then the pointer could be slapped onto the HWND.
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