Dan Kaminsky, independent researcher
In 2008, Kaminsky discovered a flaw in the Domain Name System (DNS) protocol which could have led to mass exploitation of the Internet if exploited. His discretion in helping coordinate a global fix with software and service providers alleviated that. Last year, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) made Kaminsky one of seven individuals around the world who each hold a key that would be used to re-start the Internet in the event of an extreme disaster. You might say it’s Kaminsky's key to the kingdom.