US .gov info restricted over attacker fears

Friday, 20 September 2002, 11:28 AM EST

VeriSign has stopped providing access to information about the .gov internet domain, which is restricted to US government bodies, over concerns the data could be used in planning internet attacks.

On September 16, the company posted a notice on its web site saying that from September 13 (three days earlier) it would no longer provide FTP access to the so-called "zone file" for .gov, which contains the IP addresses of all the name servers that point to .gov domains.

Ken Silva, VeriSign's director of networks and security, told ComputerWire the company had removed access to information "of potential value to hackers", and that the decision was made "in conjunction with" the General Services Administration, which administers the .gov zone file.

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