New, Free Secret Browsing and Cyber Security Service

Quad9 is a new, free service that will allow users to keep their Internet browsing habits secret and their data safe from malicious websites, botnets, phishing attacks, and marketers.

What’s The Problem?

When you browse the Internet, your Domain Name System (DNS) is likely set to whatever your ISP would like it to be (unless you have changed it). DNS services monitor your traffic data, and this information is often resold to online marketers and data brokers. We all face the security threat of unknowingly visiting domains that are associated with things like botnets, phishing attacks, and other malicious internet hosts. Many businesses also have to go to the trouble of running their own DNS blacklisting and whitelisting services.

Quad9

The new Quad9 free public Domain Name Service (DNS) system addresses all of these threats. The service promises not to collect, store, or sell any information about your browsing habits, thereby freeing the user from receiving even more unwanted attention from marketers in the future.

Also, a large part of the value of the service is that it will block domains associated with botnets, phishing attacks, and other malicious internet hosts, and relieve businesses of the need to maintain their own blacklisting and whitelisting services.

How Does It Work?

The Quad9 system, so-named because of its 9.9.9.9 Internet Protocol address, draws upon IBM X-Force’s threat intelligence database which is made up of 40 billion+ analysed web pages and images. The Quad9 service also draws upon 18 other threat intelligence feeds including Abuse.ch, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, Bambenek Consulting, F-Secure, mnemonic, 360Netlab, Hybrid Analysis GmbH, Proofpoint, RiskIQ, and ThreatSTOP.

Quad9 uses its intelligence feeds and database to keep an updated whitelist of domains never to block, using a list of the top one million requested domains. It also keeps a “gold list” of safe providers e.g. Microsoft’s Azure cloud, Google, and the like.

Amazon Web Services

All of this means that, when a Quad9 user browses the Internet and visits a website, types a URL into a browser, or follows a link, Quad9 checks the site against its databases and feeds to make sure its safe. If it isn’t safe, access to it will be blocked, thus protecting the users from possible security threats.

Not For Profit

The Quad9 service is the result of a non-profit alliance between IBM Security, Packet Clearing House (PCH), and The Global Cyber Alliance, an organisation founded by law enforcement and research firms.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

This service offers businesses another useful and free tool in the fight to maintain cyber security and resilience in an environment where threats seem to be around every corner. This service has some credible contributors with serious critical mass, and has a presence in over 70 locations across 40 countries, with plans to double its global presence over the next 18 months. This means that Quad9 could add real value to business efforts to deter threats that can come from anywhere in the world. It could also save businesses the time and trouble, and extra risk of having to compile their own (often inadequate) blacklisting and whitelisting services, and can help businesses to defend themselves from evolving threats. This kind of service also helps protect against all-too-common human error by blocking threats automatically.

Businesses hoping to use the service simply need to change the DNS settings in their device or router to point to 9.9.9.9. Installation videos and guides are also available online.

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