In 2008, an overseas telecommunications company seized control of YouTube.com for two hours. Last August, an attack on Facebook and Twitter left the popular networking sites crippled. Today’s Internet is vulnerable (and regularly succumbs) to attacks on many levels, from network hijacking to denial of service attacks and more.
"We want to design a more trustworthy Internet," says Professor Xiaowei Yang, a recent recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award to fund such a project. Yang will receive $400,000 over five years to investigate the design of a future Internet architecture that is more resilient to attacks than today’s Internet.
Yang first plans to design an Internet model that is accountable, in which hosts and networks will be held responsible for the packets they send. Once that problem is addressed, Yang will work on ways to make the Internet more resistant to attacks. "These are real world puzzles," says Yang, who presented a paper on Internet accountability at the 8th ACM HotNets Workshop in New York City last October. "We already have a bunch of ideas to get started."