The basic TCP/IP protocols are unsuited to the modern internet, and a new system is needed that sacrifices openness for accountability, experts have warned.
"There are fundamental problems in the internet, and maybe we need to look at fundamental fixes," said Marcus Sachs, executive director for national security and cyber policy at Verizon. "It's like the old Roman roads: our enemies will use it against us."
The basic structure of the TCP/IP is insecure, he added, explaining that it was built 40 years ago for a very different computing model that took little account of security.
This means that attackers from organisations and other nation states are pillaging government databases for information and making the US fundamentally unsafe, according to Sachs.
Designs must change, he said, giving the example of the American electricity plug which had lasted for over 100 years. TCP/IP could not do the same, he warned.
Sachs's calls were echoed by Rod Beckstrom, president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, who said that a few simple changes could make TCP/IP more secure and save vast amounts of security spending.
"The best investment in global security is to improve the internet protocols. Putting in a more secure version of the Domain Name System, so you have signed web addresses, would be a great step forward," he said.
"I am going to trust the smart people at the Internet Engineering Task Force. If they are right, they will drive the whole cost model down for computer security."
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