Thursday, August 07, 2008

THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED THE FLAW


From TODAY, World
Thursday August 7, 2008

Mr Dan Kaminsky (picture) was typing in bed in February when he discovered a design flaw that could turn the Web into a playground for criminals. He called his girlfriend, Web developer Crystal Williams, the Seattle Post Intelligencer website reported.

“I broke the Internet,” he said.

“What do you mean you broke the Internet?” she asked.

Mr Kaminsky, 29, hadn’t really broken anything. But the researcher for cybersecurity consultancy IOActive had uncovered a flaw in the Web’s virtual address book, also known as Domain Name Services.

You might think you’re logging into your bank, but you’ve actually been redirected to a bogus site. Suddenly, there’s no money in your balance.

Mr Kaminsky, whose job title is “director of penetration testing”, announced his discovery on July 8.

By then however, he had assembled a group of experts who worked in secret on a solution involving patches — software tweaks that cover the security hole. But Mr Kaminsky worries that roughly 41 per cent of the Internet is still vulnerable. Agencies
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