Mr. Vixie asked Mr. Kaminsky if he had a solution in mind. “He said,” We’re going to get all DNS software vendors to coordinate a fix, implement it at the same time, and keep it secret until I present my results to Black Hat, “Vixie said, referring to an annual hacking Conference in Las Vegas.
Mr. Kaminsky, then director of penetration testing at IOActive, a security company based in Seattle, had established a close working relationship with Microsoft. He and Mr. Vixie convinced Microsoft to hold a secret meeting of the world’s leading cybersecurity experts.
“I remember calling people and telling them, ‘I’m not free to tell you what it is, but there is this thing and you have to get on a plane and get us in this room at Microsoft so and so meet date, ”said Mr. Vixie.
Over the course of several days, they covertly cobbled together a solution, a solution Mr. Vixie compared to dog poop. However, with the Internet apocalypse looming, he remembered that this was the best dog poop we could ever have come up with.
When Mr. Kaminsky took the stage at Black Hat in August, the web was spared. Mr. Kaminsky, who usually wore a T-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops, appeared on stage in a suit his mother had bought for him. She had also asked that he wear closed-toe shoes. He kind of followed – whirled on stage on roller skates.
When his lecture was over, Mr. Kaminsky was approached by a stranger in the crowd. It was the administrator who kicked Mr. Kaminsky off the Internet years ago. Now he wanted to thank Mr. Kaminsky and ask for an introduction to “the meanest mother he has ever met”.
While his DNS fix was Mr. Kaminsky’s most famous contribution to internet security, it was hardly his only contribution. In 2005, after researchers discovered that Sony BMG covertly installed software on PCs to combat music piracy, Sony executives downplayed the move. Mr. Kaminsky publicized the issue after finding out that Sony’s software infected more than 568,000 computers.