Are People Losing Confidence In The Internet?

How much of your life today is spent on the Internet? Probably quite a lot. Certainly much of your personal life is and there is a good bet that your work involves it in one way or another. With so much of your life spent online there is no avoiding putting your own personal information out there, be it a credit card number, your social security number or just your birthday and every time a data breach happens people lose confidence in the companies that handle that information.

For the most part that shaken confidence has only applied to those companies but new threats are emerging (or becoming more understood by the public) and it is beginning to shake the confidence of Internet users to the core. It has the possibility to destroy the Internet and affect the way all of us live and do business.

Why Are People Losing Confidence?

Cyber Attacks are the main reason that people are losing confidence in the Internet. These attacks exploit vulnerabilities in software or just attempt to get information from unwitting people. That itself is not new and is something that has been dealt with since people came online but now we are beginning to see state-level attacks.

Cisco has reported that numerous DNS registrars and registries have been attacked to carry out attacks against numerous national security and government organizations around the globe. According to WikiLeaks the United States is one of the nationals that has conducted these kinds of cyber attacks.


The Domain Name System (DNS) is a naming system (as its name implies) for computers and other resources connected to the Internet or any private network. Every device connected gets a domain name ( and the system translates that into an IP address which makes surfing and working on the Internet much easier. It’s kind of like a phone book for the Internet.

DNS has been in use since 1985 and the idea dates back to the beginnings of the Internet with ARPANET. In those days everything was entered manually and DNS made that automatic. It has been one of the great innovations that make the Internet what we know today, but like all things needs to be updated as technology changes.

State-Level Attacks Affecting Real People

The Internet is the new battleground of modern warfare. Any attack will be preceded by a cyber attack to bring down an agency’s or country’s infrastructure. State-level attacks will exploit known software issues to their fullest and also have the potential to erode the trust between governments and the private companies that make the equipment that makes the Internet go around.

Chances are you have experienced a DNS outage at some point. Everything seems to be online and working but you can’t go anywhere on the Internet. Like anything involving technology this can and does happen but it is usually resolved within a few hours and you go about the rest of your day, albeit grumbling about your ISP. This next generation of cyber attacks have the potential to do the same, just to take it down more permanently. It does not even need to be intentional as the people of Liberia found out a few years ago.

DNS is extremely vulnerable. The trust that people put into it and the stability that it has offered drive not only our nation’s economy but the global economy. Everything is connected to this in one way or another and a state-level attack to take it down would have devastating consequences. Just like with your phone book, DNS information is out there and could be used against a business, a person or a country. As people become more aware of this, as well as other potential abuses that the Internet makes possible they are beginning to lose confidence in it.

Our connection to the Internet is vulnerable and other countries around the world know this. A serious state-level attack could knock the US offline and devastate our economy or in a more extreme case allow us to be invaded. But we can do the same to others and it is perhaps this new form of Mutually Assured Destruction that has kept it from being carried out on a global scale. Will this mean that we just need to live with this possibility that our connection to the Internet could be taken out at potentially any time or will the Internet as we know it be forced to change and adapt to new systems and new protocols?

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