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Commerce, NIST Complete Effort to Boost Cybersecurity

cyberThe Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and National Institute of Standards and Technology last Friday announced completion of an initiative with ICANN and VeriSign to strengthen cybersecurity.

The announcement marks full deployment of a security technology–Domain Name System Security Extensions–at the Internet’s authoritative root zone (i.e. the address book of the Internet), which will help protect Internet users against cache poisoning and other related cyber attacks.

Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information and NTIA administrator, called the action an important milestone in the ongoing effort to boost Internet security and to create a safer web environment.

“The Internet plays an increasingly vital role in daily life, from helping businesses expand to improving education and healthcare,” he said. “The growth of the Internet is due in part to the trust of its users – trust, for example, that when they type a website address, they will be directed to their intended website. Today’s action will help preserve that trust.”

NIST Director Patrick Gallagher said improving the trustworthiness, robustness and scaling of the Internet’s core infrastructure “is an activity that lines up strongly with NIST’s mission, and we have been contributing to design, standardization and deployment of DNSSEC technology for several years.”

“The deployment of DNSSEC at the root zone is the linchpin to facilitating its deployment throughout the world and enabling the current domain-name system to evolve into a significant new trust infrastructure for the Internet,” he said.

The Domain Name System is an important element of the Internet infrastructure. The DNS associates user-friendly domain names with the numeric network addresses required to deliver information on the Internet. The authenticity of the DNS data is essential to Internet use as it ensures users reach their intended destinations on the Internet instead of being redirected to malicious websites.

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