The overseer of the Internet's addressing system is soliciting ideas for how to fix a problem that is enabling spammers and fraudulent Web sites to flourish. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued an initial report on fast flux, a technique that allows a Web site's domain name to resolve to multiple IP (Internet protocol) addresses.
Fast flux allows an administrator to quickly point a domain name to a new IP address, for example if the server at the first address fails or comes under a denial-of-service attack. It is legitimately used by content distribution networks such as Akamai to balance loads, improving performance and lowering data transmission costs.
But the technique has also been embraced by hackers and cybercriminals, who use it to make it harder for ISPs (Internet service providers) and law enforcement officials to close down phishing Web sites and other sites illegally hawking goods such as pharmaceuticals.