ICANN Hires Def Con Founder Jeff Moss as Security Chief

By Beecher Tuttle April 29, 2011

Noted computer hacker Jeff Moss has been named the chief security officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit group responsible for managing the Web's domain name system.

Nicknamed the Dark Tangent, Moss is most well known as the founder of Def Con, the world's largest conference for hackers, and Black Hat, a famed briefings security conference. The two organizations are said to be responsible for revealing a number of security threats to technologies like Wi-Fi, Windows and iPhones, according to Digital Trends.

Moss was elected to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council two years ago and has held several other notable roles in the industry, including the director of the Secure Computing Corporation and a member of the information system security division at professional services giant Ernst & Young.

The response to Moss's hiring has been extremely positive, mostly due to his in-depth knowledge of the hacking community and his track record of fighting Internet crime.

“This is a great hire for ICANN,” Paul Vixie, Chairman and Chief Scientist at the Internet Systems Consortium, noted in a statement. “Jeff’s been in the infosec community since the dawn of time and not only knows where the weak spots are but also how they got that way, and what needs to be done and by whom. He's the ideal person to drive ICANN's security agenda.”

Linton Wells, Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP), added that Moss not only understands hackers' tendencies, but also their motivation behind the breaches that they are responsible for.

Moss began his new role at ICANN's offices in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

The Dark Tangent is not the only former hacker to hold a high-level role in the Internet security field. Marc Maiffret, an ex-hacker who was actually investigated by the FBI as a teenager, is the co-founder of eEye Digital Security, which has been providing assessment, mitigation and online protection solutions since 1998.

eEye's current CTO sat down with TMC earlier this year to talk about network security and the importance of having experts who have experience as hackers.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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