At its New Zealand meeting, the Internet organization must decide how to handle a wave of denial-of-service attacks, controversy over a "red light district" for the Web, and a protest from CIRA.
Denial of service attacks and a revolt over porn are two topics expected to percolate at the March 27 meeting of a major Internet ruling body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
ICANN is a private, nonprofit company responsible for setting policy largely followed by the worlds domain distributors.
Perhaps the more important of the two major issues facing ICANN at the meeting is the problem of the DoS attacks, which began in January.
The attacks, which have been numerous, use the domain name server to change the IP address of each Web site to the format "www.xxx.xxx."
Web sites with these addresses become so congested with traffic that Web browsers take a very long time to download the sites.
Read more here about DNS (Domain Name System) cache-poisoning attacks.
At its meeting, ICANN is set to hear two recommendations on how to halt the attacks, said Paul Twomey, president and CEO of ICANN, based in Marina del Rey, Calif.
The reality of the threat was underscored only a few hours before ICANN began its meeting in Wellington, New Zealand, when EIS, based in Dusseldorf, Germany, announced that its "joker.com" domain registry was under DNS attack.
The effects on the half-million domains registered by EIS couldnt immediately be determined.
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Instances of this type of Internet attack date back to 2002. One of the largest domain companies, VeriSign, based in Mountain View, Calif., warned on March 20 to expect record-setting amounts of DNS mayhem in the future.
Unrest has been growing over ICANNs recent decisions, including its possible approval of plans for a special section of the Internet devoted exclusively to pornography, and its recent renewal of a
controversial contract with VeriSign,
which distributes Web addresses ending in .com.
Now comes a protest regarding both issues from CIRA (the Canadian Internet Registration Authority),
which registers addresses ending in .ca. CIRA said it will no longer make its voluntary contribution to ICANN, and one of its employees has stepped down as chair of an ICANN-related working group.
Twomey said he plans to speak with CIRAs executives at the meeting, and noted that so far CIRA stands alone in its protest. Meanwhile, the board may indeed take action at the New Zealand meeting on an application to create the .xxx domain, he said.
"We look forward to talking to them about it," Twomey said of CIRA during a conference call with reporters.
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