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CIRA proposes Domain Name System-Computer Emergency Response Team

Published August 8, 2010

With online organized crime, cyber-war and cyber-terrorism becoming increasing threats, the creation of a global Domain Name System - Computer Emergency Response Team (DNS-CERT) is gaining support in many countries.

While the way the Internet works helps to dramatically reduce the effects of single points of failure, widespread use of software with security vulnerabilities can cause network failures and disruptions having broad impact; as was the case in Estonia in 2007 when access to the country's government web sites was nearly brought to a standstill after a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

According to documentation presented by ICANN earlier this year, the DNS-CERT would engage in proactive and reactive measures related to Domain Name System security and stability, lessening the impact of future attacks against or failures of the system.

In mid-July, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) submitted a proposal to the Government of Canada to develop a local DNS-CERT, made up of appropriately qualified experts who would respond to threats or damage to the Domain Name System. Currently no central Canadian authority exists to deal with Internet infrastructure security and coordinate action when needed.

President and CEO of CIRA, Byron Holland, says the development of such a body is important as the Internet is not only critical to Canada's economy but to its society as a whole.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority is the not-for-profit corporation that manages the dot-ca domain name space. CIRA's submission to ICANN is publicly available on its web site.

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