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November 20, 2017

City of London Police backed security alliance launches new DNS resolver with IBM

The Global Cyber Alliance is aiming to have as many as 100 sites operational before the end of 2017.

By Tom Ball

Armed with above average security, a new DNS resolver has been launched by The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), utilising the IBM X-Force threat intelligence database.

The new 9.9.9.9 service is called the ‘Quad9’, and the GCA is aiming to implement it to block domains that the IBM threat intelligence database recognises as dangerous. Blacklisted sites set to be blocked are associated with attacks including botnets and phishing.

Leveraging the IBM intelligence, the service is set to provide a layer of protection to organisations that are not engaging in their own blacklisting endeavours. Given the ongoing lack of proactive, sophisticated cybersecurity activity from organisations, this overarching protection could prove very valuable.

In regard to cost, Quad9 requires funding but is otherwise free to use, with government and industry bodies handling the support of the international service.

Founded with the City of London Police, the Center for Internet Security and the District Attorney of New York County are also behind that GCA, forming an international unit tasked with tackling cyber threats.

To put the wide range of the service into perspective, it went into operations with DNS server clusters in 70 places, with plans to expand to in excess of 100 sites before the end of 2017.

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DNS attacks have caused worrying damage this year, making the arrival of the GCA offering reassuring news for many. In the UK alone, councils, schools, and the government were among a lengthening list of global organisations to enter the firing line.

An EfficientIP report found that 19% of public sector sites and 11% of education bodies had experiences the damaging effects of DNS attacks. The overall UK percentage is a troubling 16 percent. A significant 76% of the report’s respondents  stated that they had faced at least one DNS attack in the past year alone.

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