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Hacker Appointed ICANN Security Chief

Published April 30, 2011

The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that oversees the Internet's Domain Name System, has announced the appointment of a self-professed hacker as its Security Chief.

Jeff Moss, founder of DEF CON,  the world's biggest security and hacking conference, will assume the role to help combat global threats to the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS); threats considered the "digital cold war of the new millennium" and a potential threat to two billion global Internet users.

"He has the in-depth insider's knowledge that can only come from fighting in the trenches of the on-going war against cyber threats," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's President and Chief Executive Officer, of the appointment of Mr. Moss.

The Domain Name System is located on millions of servers around the world, but behaves like a single database. It translates sets of numbers called IP addresses into human readable domain names and vice versa. Essentially, the primary function of the Domain Name System is to act as a location service; connecting devices to the correct data sources. 

While the word "hacker" will often stir up an image of someone engaged in nefarious activities, some hackers such as Mr. Moss have used their skills and understanding of the hacking community to help organizations secure their networks.

Mr. Moss, who has a BA in Criminal Justice, currently serves as a member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also worked in the information system security division of Ernst & Young. 

Also known by the screen name, "The Dark Tangent", Mr. Moss frequently engages in speaking roles; educating audiences on the topic of computer and information security.

ICANN is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a global membership and is dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. The body was formally established under the ICANN name in October 1998.

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