Icann, the nonprofit group that oversees the internet, has appointed a chairman for its newly formed standing committee on security and stability.

Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has named Dr Stephen Crocker as head of what is to be known as the Icann Security Committee.

The committee will focus on the security of the internet's naming and address allocation systems, Icann said in a statement on Monday.

As part of its role, Icann is responsible for ensuring the stability of the internet's addressing system, the DNS (domain name system).

At the Icann conference in November 2001 some attendees stressed that Icann's system is vulnerable to distributed denial-of-service attacks, in part because its server software uses a code base known as Bind (Berkeley internet name domain).

The Icann Security Committee was established to look into such issues. Its first task will be to advise Icann's president on the group's proposed charter, Icann said.

Crocker helped develop protocols for Arpanet, the original network that became the basis for the internet, and organised the forerunner of the Internet Engineering Task Force.

He has been a programme manager at the USA's Arpa (Advanced Research Projects Agency) and has worked at the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute and The Aerospace Corporation, where he founded the Computer Sciences Laboratory, Icann said.