Web expert on his 'catastrophe' key for the internet

andrew.wallace andrew.wallace at rocketmail.com
Wed Jul 28 16:24:57 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 9:33 AM, Elmar K. Bins <elmi at 4ever.de> wrote:
> andrew.wallace at rocketmail.com (andrew.wallace) wrote:
>> A British computer expert has been entrusted with part of a digital key, to 
>> restart the internet in the event of a major catastrophe.
>> Paul Kane talked to Eddie Mair on Radio 4's PM programme about what he might 
>> called upon to do in the event of an international online emergency.
>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10781240
> One, I do not see the operational relevance of this "news".
> Second, people cult is just not the hype anymore.
> Third, my opinion towards Mr. Kane will stay with myself.

I think there is a social vulnerability in a group of people who need to travel, 
a lot of the time, by plane, to exactly the same location to make new keys to 
reset DNSSEC.

What I think is, this is leaving them wide open to attack. If an attack was 
state-sponsored, its likely they would be able to stop those selected people 
reaching the location in the United States by way of operational officers 
intercepting them by kidnap or murder, and indeed, a cyber attack without the 
need for human intervention to stop the select people getting to their 
destination could be done by knocking out the air traffic system. Which would, 
hamper the resetting and creation of new keys for DNSSEC. 

Even without the select people being prevented from reaching their location in 
the United States, the disclosure tells the bad guys, approximately how long an 
attack window they've got between the selected people leaving their work or home 
and travelling by plane to the location.

It would have been better if the people who are the selected key holders was 
kept classified, a lot of the information given out wasn't in the public 
interest, or in the national interest for the arrangements to be made public.

I'm guessing also, Mr.Kane would be travelling to the United States in  a 
military plane and not a commercial airliner, but who knows?

Of course this is just my opinion.

Andrew Wallace


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