Yes, you read that correct, it is this secret seven that controls the whole internet security. It may rather sound like science fiction but is it really like that? No, it is not it is not a part of any movie or science fiction but it is the reality. Keep reading as we continue to unveil all that is known about the secret 7
As we begin to unveil about the secret 7. The primary and initial knowledge required to understand the secret seven is to know that these seven secrets that we are talking about are just 7 people who are highly qualified to control the whole internet security.
What do this seven people actually do?
Let’s site an example. Not long ago a good chunk of the internet had gone down for a while when hackers managed to attract so much traffic at a company called Dyn that Dyn’s server could not take it and it collapsed.
Dyn is one of the major providers of something called domain name system which translates web addresses from names such as theeinfomance.com (easier to catch and remember for human) to numbers or IP addresses (easier to remember for computers) that computer use to identify and know the web pages.
So the major thing here is that if you can control all of DNS you can control the whole of the internet. So here we get the answer to our question of what these seven people actually do. These seven people control the DNS at the highest level so that our information is safe. These people are called as crypto officers. While hackers never got control of DNS due to the sincere crypto officers.
But If they successfully take it offline for even a few hours via a distributed denial of service attack shows how much the internet relies on DNS. This attack briefly brought down sites like Amazon, Twitter, Spotify, and other important sites.
What are these secret seven that the seven-person controls?
The tools that make them secret seven are just 7 physical keys. these keys are not virtual but actual keys just like the keys to our locks.
What stops the seven people from indulging in piracy activities?
They do not indulge in any piracy activities since everything is not controlled by a single person. Since 2010 all of these people gather to conduct a high secure ritual known as the key ceremony. These key holders meet four times a year twice on the east coast of the US and twice on the west. Now, what is the key ceremony?
The key ceremony is the ceremony where the Internet’s metamorphic master lock are verified and updated.
The seven key holders along with the backup seven Keyholders constitute 14 primary keyholders all of them owns a traditional metal key to a safety deposit box. Which in turn contains a MasterCard which in turn activates the machine which creates a new master key.
The master key makes the whole DNS secure and safe. It prevents the proliferation of fake web address which could lead people to malicious sites which will help the hackers to steal data, credit card details etc.
The backup seven key holders actually do not meet in the key ceremony they stay at the different part of the world. They have the keys so that they could access the last resort measure if any unfortunate event happens. The backup keyholders actually have a little bit different key which unveils the smart card that contains a fragment of code which is helpful in building a replacement key generating machine. These 7 backup keyholders once in a year send their photograph with the days’ newspaper and their key to verify that all is well.
Who conducts this key ceremony?
The key ceremony is controlled by the ICANN(Internet Corporation for assigned names and numbers). ICANN is responsible to assign a numerical web address to websites. Since ICANN a private non-profit company rather than a government or international body has the biggest job in controlling internet security has met with a handsome amount of criticism.
If someone was to gain control of ICANN’s database that person could pretty much control the internet and he might get credit card details of someone or send some fake bank websites instead of the authentic one. And therefore ICANN has come up with the concept of smart key and not allowing a single person to gain all the control.
Who are these key holders?
As now you know the actual concept of the seven keys let’s now see where these seven people live and where are they from. Do they even speak the common tongue? No, they don’t speak a common tongue as they are all from different regions of the world speaking different accents. All these key holders have a long background in internet security. They are selected for their geographical spread all over the world and also their experience. A single country is never allowed to have too many key holders.
The security of the key ceremony is very Intense and strong. The participants pass through a series of locked doors and hand scanners and finally, they reach a fully sealed room where no electronic communication can escape.
All the participants are given the script of how everything will be conducted so that the ceremony runs smoothly. And after the ceremony, each person goes out of the room each at a time.
As ICANN also faced a lot of criticism so being aware of its worldwide trust ICANN lets anyone monitor the ceremony by Conducting a live stream over the internet.
“If you had this key and were able to, for example, generate your own version of the root zone, you would be in a position to redirect a tremendous amount of traffic”. It was said by Matt Larson, vice president of research at ICANN to Motherboards joseph cox.
- The actual report about secret 7 was published by (www.theguardian.com).