The OECD just published a study that presents new insights into the role of Internet Service Providers in fighting the millions of infected machines that are currrently plaguing the Internet. The study discovered a remarkably concentrated patterns – just 50 ISPs account for about 50% of all infected machines worldwide. It also statistically determines some of underlying factors that explain why some ISPs perform better than others.
Last week, the Dutch police managed to shut down the “Bredolab” botnet. At least, that is what they claimed during the worldwide media coverage that followed. A few days later, while the police was still basking in the praise for its success, the botnet was resurrected. Embarrassing? Yes. Surprising? Not really. It highlights a fundamental misunderstanding about the fight against botnets. Contrary to what the Dutch police claimed and many people think, law enforcement cannot shut down botnets. It is important to understand why and what the implications are of this sobering thought.
The Dutch Ministry of the Interior has been preemptively buying domain names. Several hundreds of them. Some of them are outright bizarre, such as degeitwordtgemolken.nl ('thegoatisbeingmilked.nl') or hetbrooddesemiszuur.nl ('thesourdoughbreadissour.nl'). What is going on?
Day two at the IGF focuses on cybersecurity, meaning the main sessions are devoted to it. After the first session, I heard a participant say: “I know nothing about Internet security, but I didn’t hear anything new.”
It is the first day of the program of the Internet Governance Forum itself. The first workshop I attended was on “Understanding Internet Infrastructure.” It could also have been called “Everything you always wanted to know about the Internet, but where afraid to ask.” The answers revealed some surprising gaps in how we think about infrastructure issues.
The website of Geert Wilders' upcoming film has been taken down by registrar Network Solutions, while they are “investigating whether the site’s content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy.” That message has been up for about five days now. One wonders how long it takes to investigate six words and a single picture.
Rather than deciding whether Network Solutions acted appropriately, the more interesting question is: Why did Network Solutions suspend Wilders’ website, given that it, so far, has not hosted offensive content and given that they do not suspend websites that are clearly more offensive? Why are they seemingly volunteering to take on the enormous task of policing the huge number of websites that are registered through them?