junio 29, 2009

El hombre que salvó del caos a Internet

El hombre que puede haber salvado a Internet del caos cibernético total es un informático de 29 años de Seattle llamado Dan Kaminsky. En febrero, por pura casualidad, se encontró con un error en el sistema de asignación de direcciones de Internet del que todavía no quiere revelar demasiados detalles. “Es pronto –dice–. Primero quiero que el problema se haya solucionado a gran escala y luego descubriré los detalles.”

Lo que Kaminsky descubrió es un error de dimensiones titánicas, presente en la red desde el mismo día de su nacimiento formal en los años ochenta, que permitiría a cualquier hacker, o pirata informático, secuestrar la libreta de direcciones web, conocida como Sistema de Nombres de Dominio, y redireccionar el tráfico de Internet a sitios falsos en los que se podrían hacer con datos valiosísimos, como números de cuentas bancarias, datos privados o contraseñas personales. Cuando lo descubrió, Kaminsky, director de Penetración de Pruebas de Seguridad en la consultora IOActive, decidió colaborar con dos frentes.

“Primero me puse en contacto con los grandes proveedores de Internet y luego con el Departamento de Seguridad Interior”, explica. “La respuesta de ambas partes fue magnífica.” El 31 de marzo se reunió con representantes de los 16 grandes de Internet de Estados Unidos en el cuartel general de Microsoft en Redmond, en el Estado de Washington. “Les expuse la situación y decidieron que no había más opción que cooperar y trabajar conjuntamente en parches de seguridad idénticos, para evitar una catástrofe”, contó.

Este investigador avisó también al gobierno, a través del Equipo de Emergencia y Respuesta Informática del Departamento de Seguridad Interior. Colaborando con Kaminsky, estos agentes del gobierno de Estados Unidos revelaron la existencia de este fallo el pasado 8 de julio, y advirtieron que “el tráfico web, el correo electrónico y otros datos importantes de la red pueden ser redireccionados bajo el control de los atacantes”.

En ese momento, Microsoft, Cisco y otras empresas proveedoras de Internet comenzaron a proporcionar sus parches de seguridad, como descargas y actualizaciones automáticas de los sistemas operativos. “Que el gobierno haya tomado cartas en este asunto y que lo haya hecho de este modo revela la gravedad del asunto”, explica Kaminsky. “Además, es la primera vez que las grandes empresas de la red se coordinan de esta manera y trabajan de forma conjunta y a marchas forzadas”, acota.

Por supuesto, ésta no es la primera ocasión en que se descubre un fallo en la red. “Pero hasta ahora, los hackers eran capaces de atacar los terminales. Podían secuestrar tu computadora, podían hacerse con el control de una red”, añade. “Pero ahora, lo que hemos descubierto no es un fallo local, sino un gran envenenamiento de la red a través del cual estas personas podrían secuestrar todas las páginas web, aprovechando un agujero en la libreta de direcciones de Internet, su banco de datos primordial.”

Muchos son los casos de ciberterrorismo que se viven a diario. A principios de julio, los servidores de Icann, organización no lucrativa que administra las correspondencias entre nombres de páginas web y direcciones IP, fueron atacados por un grupo de hackers turcos autodenominados NetDevilz, o Diablos de la Red.

Kaminsky prometió revelar más detalles sobre su descubrimiento “cuando la resolución del problema esté más avanzada”. Lo hará mañana en la conferencia sobre informática Black Hat, la mayor del mundo en materia de seguridad cibernética. Su testimonio se podrá seguir en directo a través de la dirección blackhat.com.

El masivo fallo descubierto, que todavía contamina a millones de computadoras en todo el mundo, puede ser detectado por los usuarios. Kaminsky creó una página web en la que pueden comprobar si su computadora es vulnerable. En doxpara.com se accede a un botón denominado check my DNS. Si el internauta confirma que su nombre de servidor es susceptible de ser atacado dispone de una solución fácil de implementar.

La página web opendns.com creó una red entre Estados Unidos y Europa en la que se proporciona un sistema de nombres de dominio blindado. Es, en otras palabras, un listín telefónico alternativo al que no afecta el fallo descubierto por Kaminsky. En esta dirección se ofrecen, de forma gratuita, dos direcciones de servidores de nombres de dominio seguras: 208.67.222.222 y 208.67.220.220. Ambas se pueden introducir en la correspondiente casilla en las Propiedades de Protocolo de Internet de cualquier computadora.

David Alandete / El País de Madrid.
© 2000-2008 www.pagina12.com.ar | República Argentina | Todos los Derechos Reservados

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