Cyber key-masters needed to restart the internet

Friday - 7/30/2010, 8:30am EDT

Cybersecurity Update - Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris (6-10 a.m.) and The DorobekInsider with Chris Dorobek (3-7 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • If the power goes out, you call the power company. What happens if the Internet goes out? Not your service provider, not your connection, but the WHOLE Internet? Turns out there are seven people in the world who hold the keys to reboot the Web. PopSci.com reports these are seven people from all over the world who would have to converge at a U.S. base with their keys to restart the system and reconnect the rest of us. But this isn't a military operation. The Internet safety program is overseen by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

  • The FBI is watching out for terrorists who might launch a big cyber attack. FBI Director Robert Mueller tells a Senate panel that so far terrorists have used the web only for recruiting and spreading their messages. But he says they still might launch a full-scale cyber offensive. And the effect could be just as bad as a well-placed bomb. In response to cyber threats, the FBI runs cyber squads in its field offices. It also led the creation of a joint task force with the intelligence community and law enforcement.

Check out all of Federal News Radio's coverage of cybersecurity issues here.