ICANN

Caribbean Faces Serious Cyber Security Threats

By Gerard Best

Carlos Martinez, Chief Technology Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean Internet Addresses delivers a presentation on regional cyber security at Internet Week Sint Maarten, Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Philipsburg, October 24, 2016. Looking on is Mark Kosters, Chief Technology Officer, American Registry of Internet Numbers. PHOTO: LACNIC
Carlos Martinez, Chief Technology Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean Internet Addresses delivers a presentation on regional cyber security at Internet Week Sint Maarten, Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Philipsburg, October 24, 2016. Looking on is Mark Kosters, Chief Technology Officer, American Registry of Internet Numbers. PHOTO: LACNIC

PHILIPSBURG, St Maarten—Keep it secret. And make sure it’s safe.

Don’t use your real name, your birth date, or any single word. Instead, try a short phrase that includes some numerals and even some punctuation.

Devising secure passwords for your online accounts and your family’s Internet-connected devices is simple enough, if you follow a few easy guidelines like these. But most people just don’t.

And a major attack on a little-known company underscores how much of the security of the global Internet now depends on that unwitting majority of ordinary Internet users. On October 21, a distributed denial of service, or DDoS attack, brought down a relatively obscure US-based firm called Dyn. Those attacks are fairly common, and they use huge networks of malicious software called botnets to bring down a specific service.

What made the DDoS attack on Dyn more troubling was that it set a dangerous precedent. Dyn provides domain name system or DNS services, which support part of the critical infrastructure underlying the global Internet. By targeting companies that make up the backbone of the Internet, hackers can bring down all kinds of other services.

Also disturbing is the fact that the hackers used networks of common smart devices like watches, TVs and refrigerators, to cause the major disruption. Analysts have linked the attack to the Mirai malware, which uses the Internet of Things, or IoT, as botnets. The Mirai source code was released on hacking websites in October.

Analysts are also linking the Dyn attack to others that took place within a five-week span, each larger than the previous, and all using Mirai. On September 20, a 660 Gbps attack was launched on the KrebsOnSecurity blog. A 1 Tbps attack was also launched on French hosting provider OVH on the same day.

“In the last two years, we’ve had multiple attacks, and the most recent attacks are using IoT devices,” said Mark Kosters, Chief Technology Officer of the American Registry of Internet Numbers, the organisation that provides number resource allocation and registration services for North America and parts of the Caribbean.

He explained that smart devices present an easy target for hackers to turn into botnets because users typically fail to secure them properly.

“A lot of the devices are vulnerable. It means that more and more homes are very quietly becoming potential sites of DDOS attacks,” he said.

“Now, we all have to make sure that all of those devices that we have around the house are secure.”

As smart devices proliferate, it will become easier for hackers to launch significant cyber attacks using unsecured IoT devices, unless ordinary end-users become more security-conscious. When it comes to cyber security, it turns out personal choices can have global consequences. And for the foreseeable future, it is the network of human beings who will have to keep the Internet of Things safe.

The ARIN CTO was speaking on the second day of a technology conference jointly held by the Caribbean Network Operators Group and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten from October 24 to 26.

He co-presented with Carlos Martinez, Chief Technology Officer of the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), ARIN’s counterpart in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Also presenting on the technical, social and policy aspects of cyber security issues facing the Caribbean region were CaribNOG co-founder Bevil Wooding, an Internet Strategist with Packet Clearing House; Albert Daniels, ICANN Senior Manager for Stakeholder Engagement in the Caribbean; and Shernon Osepa, Regional Affairs Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society (ISOC).

Supported by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, Packet Clearing House and ArkiTechs, the event was part of Internet Week Sint Maarten, a five-day conference coordinated by the St Maarten telecommunications regulator, BTP and focused on developing the Caribbean Internet. The week ended with Sint Maarten on the Move, a two-day event jointly hosted by LACNIC and ISOC.

 

Raising the Guardians of the Caribbean Internet

CaribNOG 12 off to a successful start in St Maarten

 CAPTION: Bevil Wooding, co-founder of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) delivers opening remarks at the organisation's twelfth regional meeting, at Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, October 24, 2016. Looking on, from left, are Shernon Osepa, Internet Society; Albert Daniels, ICANN; and Kevon Swift, LACNIC. PHOTO: CaribNOG

CAPTION: Bevil Wooding, co-founder of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) delivers opening remarks at the organisation’s twelfth regional meeting, at Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, October 24, 2016. Looking on, from left, are Shernon Osepa, Internet Society; Albert Daniels, ICANN; and Kevon Swift, LACNIC. PHOTO: CaribNOG

PHILIPSBURG, St Maarten—Even with its minor geographical footprint, the Caribbean has a major appetite for the Internet. More and more, Caribbean citizens are reflexively heading online to do their everyday essentials. In order to keep pace with that digital predilection, the modest community managing the region’s networks has to keep building serious capacity.

“There has to be a deeper pool of human resources in the Caribbean with technical expertise,” says Bevil Wooding, co-founder of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG).

“More people with less technical knowledge are using Internet-based technology, trusting that it will be safe. And so, a group of people have to ensure that that trust is well founded.”

Wooding was speaking at the opening of CaribNOG’s twelfth regional meeting, held at Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Philipsburg from October 24 to 26.

“We have to secure the region’s networks and look out for threats in different ways now that we are at this stage of the Internet’s development. And that’s why a group like CaribNOG is so important at this time. We become the guardians of the Caribbean’s Internet development.”

CaribNOG 12 is part of Internet Week Sint Maarten, a five-day conference focused on developing the Caribbean Internet. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) jointly held the first three days of the week with CaribNOG.

“When we started working to develop capacity in the region, we soon realised that CaribNOG had the same goals, and so we quickly decided that by working together, we could accomplish more,” said Albert Daniels, Senior Manager of Stakeholder Engagement for the Caribbean at ICANN.

Daniels was one of several regional experts to conduct hands-on sessions on topics including cyber security, Internet governance, IPv6 adoption and Internet exchange points.

The three-day gathering is supported by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union; the American Registry for Internet Numbers; Packet Clearing House; ArkiTechs and The BrightPath Foundation.

Internet Week Sint Maarten will close with Sint Maarten on the Move, a two-day event jointly hosted by the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses registry (LACNIC).

The weeklong conference is coordinated by the St Maarten telecommunications regulator, BTP. It is open to the public and free of charge, with a live video stream for remote participants.

 

ICANN backs Caribbean technology development

Albert Daniels, Senior Manager of Stakeholder Engagement for the Caribbean at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers delivers remarks at the organisation’s LAC-I-Roadshow, at Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, October 24, 2016.

A global Internet giant is partnering with a Caribbean-based group to advance regional technology development.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is joining forces with the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) to build the capacity of the region’s technical community.

ICANN coordinates the Internet’s system of unique addresses. The global nonprofit organization is dedicated to ensuring an open, stable and secure Internet.

“When we started working to develop capacity in the region, we soon realised that CaribNOG had the same goals, and so we quickly decided that by working together, we could accomplish more,” said Albert Daniels, Senior Manager of Stakeholder Engagement for the Caribbean at ICANN.

Daniels was speaking at the joint opening of ICANN’s LAC-I-Roadshow and CaribNOG’s twelfth regional meeting, held at Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Philipsburg from October 24 to 26.

The spirit of collaboration goes far beyond ICANN and CaribNOG. It includes several other major players in the global Internet landscape, such as the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC) and the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN). LACNIC and ARIN are the two regional Internet registries that share responsibility for the Caribbean sub-region.

“We are pleased to be working together with Carlos Martinez, Chief Technology Officer of LACNIC, and Mark Kosters, Chief Technology Officer of ARIN, to deliver training on critical issues such as domain name system security,” Daniels said.

The U.S. government helped create ICANN in 1998 with the goal of building a stable, multi-stakeholder organisation that could take over the management of the Internet’s naming and number system. To accomplish this goal, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration partnered with ICANN to transition important coordination functions, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, to the private sector. On October 1, the IANA stewardship function was formally transitioned to the global multi-stakeholder community.

At LAC-I-Roadshow, Daniels presented on technical issues like cyber security, and policy issues such as the IANA stewardship transition. The slate of international experts conducted hands-on sessions covering a broad range of topics, including Internet exchange points.

The LAC-I-Roadshow and CaribNOG 12 are part of Internet Week Sint Maarten, a five-day conference focused on developing the Caribbean Internet.

The three-day gathering was supported by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union; the American Registry for Internet Numbers; Packet Clearing House; ArkiTechs and The BrightPath Foundation.

Internet Week Sint Maarten ends with Sint Maarten on the Move, a two-day event jointly hosted by the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses registry (LACNIC).

The weeklong conference is coordinated by the St Maarten telecommunications regulator, BTP. It is open to the public and free of charge, with a live video stream for remote participants.

ICANN chief to step down in early 2016

Hours after announcing his resignation, Fadi Chehadé, president and CEO of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, left, fields questions from members of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (Lacnic) at the Lacnic 23 conference, held in Lima, Peru on May 21. At right is Oscar Robles-Garay, CEO of Lacnic. Photo: Gerard Best
Hours after announcing his resignation, Fadi Chehadé, president and CEO of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, left, fields questions from members of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (Lacnic) at the Lacnic 23 conference, held in Lima, Peru on May 21. At right is Oscar Robles-Garay, CEO of Lacnic. Photo: Gerard Best

By Gerard Best

LIMA, Peru—The head of the non-profit group that oversees all Internet addresses will step down in March 2016.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President and CEO Fadi Chehadé sent notice to the board on May 21 telling them that he would leave after an annual meeting to be held in Morocco in March.

Hours after the news broke on Agence France Presse (AFP), Chehadé addressed representatives of the regional Internet community gathered in Lima for an annual conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC).

He said that during the remaining 10 months of his tenure, ICANN would redouble efforts to give greater power to the global, multistakeholder Internet community of governments, businesses, organisations and users, so that no single entity would have the authority to determine the future of the Internet.

Chehadé has been overseeing ICANN’s transition away from the longstanding US-centred arrangement toward a more global oversight of ICANN’s core responsibility for the Internet.

Chehadé had earlier commended the ICANN staff for moving the organisation from a predominantly US-based operation to a global institution with offices and relationships spread around the world.

At stake in the transition process is the control of a vital stake in the rapidly growing global digital economy, which could exceed 4.2 trillion US dollars by 2016, according to a Boston Consulting Group study.

“As the digital economy grows, the pressure to take control of things will grow as well, and it is incumbent upon us to show that we are prepared and mature and ready,” he said.

For the last 25 years, ICANN has been contracted by the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration to manage the assignment of Internet names and numbers globally. That collection of responsibilities is referred to as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship function.

Chehadé’s resignation will take effect shortly after the US government receives a plan to implement the transition of the IANA stewardship function to Icann and the global Internet community, including Regional Internet Registries such as LACNIC. A release from ICANN said Chehadé would remain available to support the transition to a new leader after March 2016 as well as to advise the board on the IANA transition.

“I am deeply committed to working with the board, our staff, and our community to continue ICANN’s mission as we still have much to accomplish,” Chehadé told AFP.

“I think this is the right time and the right thing to do.”

Chehadé has also also overseen the launch of new top-level domains, such as .google and .cricket. That process that has increased ICANN revenues under his tenure and brought the operations of the nonprofit agency under heightened global scrutiny.

Chehadé said he has accepted a job in the private sector, outside of the domain name space which ICANN supervises. He said he would disclose the name of his new employer later this year.