View Full Version : Seven smartcards to rule us all

07-29-2010, 05:10 PM
The BBC is reporting the existence of seven individuals who were recently given the "keys" to the internet.

If it breaks, such as in the event of a global cyber attack, at least five of these seven people will be required to take their keys - actually smartcards - to a base in the US to boot it all up again.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/seven-smartcards-to-rule-us-all-as-internet-keys-handed-out-across-the-globe/story-e6frfro0-1225898260889#ixzz0v5m1p6vc

Additional URLS referenced in the above


If the BBC can track down one of these guys, what could the Bad Guys (TM) do with him and his smart card?

Rex Brynen
07-29-2010, 05:37 PM
If the BBC can track down one of these guys, what could the Bad Guys (TM) do with him and his smart card?

As one of the commentators (Andreas Ferber) on the New Scientist article (http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/07/not-so-secret-seven-hold-keys.html)notes, the reporting is highly misleading:

Sorry, but almost all of this article is complete nonsense.

First the correct facts: yes, there is a "master key", yes, it has been broken into seven parts, and yes, five of the key holders must come together in order to use the key. That's it, everything else is wrong.

There is nothing about "rebooting" anything. The root nameservers (they are in some remote sense what you might call "heart of the internet") are hundreds of individual machines scattered all over the world. If any of those machines need rebooting, one of the local operators logs into the machine and reboots it, simple as that....

(more at the link above)

In essence, these folks have keys which give them access to the vaults where parts of the key used to set the encryption for the root zone each year are stored.

Short version: don't worry. :D

07-29-2010, 05:50 PM
Right. So the Bad Guys would have to conduct an Epic sweep and collect all seven parts first?

Short version: don't worry. :D

You know who else would tell me not to worry?


07-29-2010, 10:23 PM
Or maybe Matt Damon? Because the movie version practically writes itself.