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Internet monitor ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has appointed as chief security officer the founder of the Defcon hacker conference and advisor to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Jeff Moss.

Jeff Moss has an illustrious past and is well-connected in hacker communities, and well-respected by officials in the US government and security industry. He has been running Defcon for nearly 18 years, since the days when he was better known, at least online, as “Dark Tangent”. He also runs the Black Hat briefings security conferences held around the world and was appointed to the DHS Advisory Council two years ago.

Previously, he was a director at Secure Computing and worked at Ernst & Young. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Gonzaga University and also serves on the Council on Foreign Relations.

“I can think of no one with a greater understanding of the security threats facing internet users and how best to defend against them than Jeff Moss,” ICANN president Rod Beckstrom said.

“He has the in depth insider’s knowledge that can only come from fighting in the trenches of the ongoing war against cyber threats.”

Paul Vixie, chairman and chief scientist at the Internet Systems Consortium, said that Moss has been in the information security community “since the dawn of time, and not only knows where the weak spots are, but also how they got that way” and what to do about them.

Moss will begin working out of ICANN’s Washington offices on Friday, the organisation said in a statement today.

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