Interesting to see Verisgn’s Chief Security Officer, Ken Silva, spreading himself over the news warning of a new type of Denial of Service (DoS) attack.
The new twist with the DoS attacks? Requests are initially made to a DNS with a faked return address for the DNS to reply to. This false address is the site being attacked, with the effect that the DNS is sending lots of responses to the target-server, bring it down. hence the Service being Denied.
Why would Verisign be interesting in telling people about this? Well they own Network Solutions, the largest domain register, so clearly they’ve got a vested interest in DNS working well.
More interestingly, their main business is selling security certificates. These certificates are used to ‘prove’ who you are and are, in turn, verified by VeriSign (See how they came up with the name now?).
To date, certificates have generally only really been used by sites to provide potential purchasers with a level of confidence in translating with them.
I think Verisign has a vision far beyond this. I imagine they’re getting very excited about the semantic web, where machines will be forever talking to each other, swapping little nuggets of data. I imagine that when the verisign CxO’s are lying around fantasising about how life could be, a world where everyone of these machine need to have a certificate (one of theirs naturally) would pretty much be the highest state of excitement.
Look at their spate of purchases towards the end of last year; weblogs.com and moreover and see how this strengthens the argument. They want to be in a position to prove that your blog post is created by you, or that the news source that says it the Digital-Lifestyles is Digital-Lifestyles.info and not some wanna-be imitation. Positioning yourself as an owner of frequently used ping server can only help you.
So keep your eye on VeriSign, we think they think they’re going to become a large part of your online life.