Feeds

US .gov info restricted over attacker fears

Zoning out

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

VeriSign Inc has stopped providing access to information about the .gov internet domain, which is restricted to US government bodies, over concerns the data could be used in planning internet attacks, ComputerWire has learned.

On September 16, the company posted a notice on its web site saying that from September 13 (three days earlier) it would no longer provide FTP access to the so-called "zone file" for .gov, which contains the IP addresses of all the name servers that point to .gov domains.

Ken Silva, VeriSign's director of networks and security, told ComputerWire the company had removed access to information "of potential value to hackers", and that the decision was made "in conjunction with" the General Services Administration, which administers the .gov zone file.

Silva pointed out that while VeriSign manages the .com, .org and .net zone files, and continues to make those available to those willing to enter a no-cost agreement with the company, it does not run .gov, and merely made the data available as a free informational service.

Malicious hackers wanting to take down government web sites would hypothetically be able to do so by denial-of-service attacking the name servers associated with .gov domains. It was not immediately clear if the .gov zone file data is made available in bulk from other sources, but the GSA does not seem to do so.

Also removed from the FTP site was the zone file for in-addr.arpa, which is used for reverse-DNS lookups (when somebody wants to find out what domain is associated with an IP address, rather than the other way around).

© ComputerWire

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.