Google Internet evangelist Vinton Cerf, the co-designer of the Internet's TCP/IP protocols along with Robert Kahn, says the Web continues to lack many of the basic features it should have, particularly in security. Cert says one of the most critical needs is authentication. Anyone who performs transactions over the Internet should be concerned about the technology and insufficient security, he says. "Authentication isn't available on an end-to-end basis at all layers of the architecture," Cerf says. Although users excel at "building concrete tunnels" using Secure Sockets Layer techniques, they do not identify the end points and just secure the channel, he says.
For example, it is possible to send an email with an attached, encrypted virus through an encrypted tunnel, and once it arrives it is decrypted and launches its attack. Mobile is another problem area, he says.
To help solve these problems, Cerf says the U.S. government can use as a model the work being done by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in coordinating standards on the smart grid and health information technology.
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