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Internet Registry Plans Swift Removal Of Infected Web Sites

InfoSecurity Europe : 14 February, 2011  (Technical Article)
Infosecurity Europe organisers comment on the UK Internet Registry plans for removing web sites that have been infected or that have criminal intentions
The organisers of Infosecurity Europe have welcomed news that the UK’s Internet registry is considering plans to rapidly take down those Web sites and Internet domains that it considers infected or have clear criminal/hacking intent.  Infosecurity Europe will be held at Earls Court, London 19-21 April 2011.

Claire Sellick, Event Director with the increasingly popular information security show, which takes place in London each spring, said that infected Web sites are now a serious threat to Internet users, whether they are employees working for a major corporation or SoHo workers, working on a single PC from a home office.

"The problem to date has been the electronic paper chase required for interested parties to complain - through various channels - that a site is causing infections or malware-laded links to visitors, and then for the hosting provider - often acting on their own principles - taking down the site, usually after several weeks of investigation," she said.

"If, as seems likely, Nominet adopts the plan, then a decision will be taken to take a site offline in very short order, where the intent is clearly criminal or the site appears to act as a conduit for malware," she added.

According to the Infosecurity Europe Event Director, Nominet's plans - which are quite revolutionary given the egalitarian nature of the Internet - have been proposed after discussions with the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Despite the suggestion coming from the police agency, Sellick said that the fact that Nominet is now asking its membership and the Internet industry in general, is a very positive move.

It reflects, she said, the growing importance that the Internet has in modern business life, and the fact that it has almost become an essential utility in the same way that energy and water suppliers are central to modern life.

If the plans are adopted, she says, then the move will make the Internet a safer place to do business, although it is important to realise that the global nature of the Web means that until other national registries adopt similar measures, there will still be the issue of infected sites to content with.

The good news that will result from the adoption of the proposals, adds Sellick, is that it will effectively devalue a UK-registered Web site in the eyes of cybercriminals, who will be less inclined to hack into the pages and load their own rogue data, knowing full well the site will be offline in a short space of time.

"Crime has a habit of seeking the path of least resistance and cybercrime is no exception. Reducing the risk of a UK business Web site from being misused is always going to be welcome, even against the backdrop of the Wild West that the Internet has become in some areas," she said.

"For this reason, we welcome the Nominet proposals, as they will help to make the Internet a safer place. There will still be cybercriminals on the Net, of course, but businesses can come to Infosecurity Europe in April to learn how to better defend their digital assets in the fast-changing world of IP communications," she added.

Infosecurity Europe takes place at London Olympia, between the 19th and the 21st of April, 2011.
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