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Watching North Korea's Internet Connectivity Go Up and Down Via Twitter

Dan York One thing I enjoy about following Dyn Research (formerly Renesys) on Twitter is that they provide quite interesting graphics and charts about Internet outages. They've been tracking North Korea's Internet access quite closely over the past week and their tweets have been quite enlightening. Back on December 22, for instance, DynResearch tweeted a chart showing a 9-hour, 31-minute outage... more»

Did the DPRK Hack Sony?

Steven Bellovin My Twitter feed has exploded with lots of theorizing about whether or not North Korea really hacked Sony. Most commentators are saying "no", pointing to the rather flimsy public evidence. They may be right -- but they may not be. Worse yet, we may never know the truth. One thing is quite certain, though: the "leaks" to the press about the NSA having concluded it was North Korea were not unauthorized leaks; rather, they were an official statement released without a name attached. more»

The Empire Strikes Back: "New" Verisign Hums a Familiar Tune

Paul Stahura Losing your monopoly must be hard. True, few companies ever experience that particular breed of angst, but if Verisign's reply to even modest success in the new gTLD marketplace is any indication, it must be very hard to say goodbye. We understand why they're worried... The quality of newly registered .COM names is dropping and has been for years. And there is nothing Verisign can do about it. So welcome to the fire sale. more»

Thirty-Three Million and Counting

John Levine Two weeks ago I blogged about ICANN's astonishingly lucrative domain auctions. At that time, they'd raised $26.7 million. Now, two auctions later, they're up to about $33 million. Yesterday's two auctions were for .MLS and .BABY. The former, for those who aren't deep into the real estate biz, stands for Multiple Listing Service, the system that lets you list a house with one broker, and all the other brokers can sell it. more»

NETmundial Initiative Lacks Backing, and ICANN Should Not Lead

Steve DelBianco A fledgling attempt to create a new global Internet governance clearinghouse has run into trouble as leading business and civil organizations said they are not yet prepared to participate in the NETmundial Initiative (NMI) championed by ICANN President Fadi Chehade. In highlighting that there remain several unanswered questions, the Internet Society (ISOC), Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-BASIS) raised serious concerns... more»

The Real Facts About New gTLDs

Jeannie McPherson Many with financial interests in new gTLDs, such as Donuts, have painted a rosy picture of how new gTLDs create greater availability of meaningful domain name options that the global masses have been waiting for. Their message seems to be: FINALLY, there is an alternative to .com in new domain extensions like .guru, .photography, .blackfriday and .tips. But, the reality is that we have always had options other than .com to choose from when registering a domain name. The challenge isn't choice, its relevance and credibility. more»

Can Big Companies Stop Being Hacked?

John Levine The recent huge security breach at Sony caps a bad year for big companies, with breaches at Target, Apple, Home Depot, P.F.Changs, Neiman Marcus, and no doubt other companies who haven't admitted it yet. Is this the new normal? Is there any hope for our private data? I'm not sure, but here are three observations... This week Brian Krebs reported on several thousand Hypercom credit card terminals that all stopped working last Sunday. Had they all been hacked? more»

Email Vendors: Time to Build in DMARC

Steve Jones DMARC is extremely useful, yet I've heard some vendors are putting their implementations on hold because of the IETF DMARC working group. You really shouldn't wait though -- it's been in wide use for nearly three years, enterprises are looking at DMARC for B2B traffic, and the working group charter is limited in it's scope for changes. Let's compare this to a similar situation in the past. more»

The Value of Community Broadband

Mark Goldberg There are many voices calling for increased initiatives by municipalities to build and operate broadband internet infrastructure as a public utility, but until this week, very little in the way of economic analysis to fully examine whether the benefits justify the costs. A paper released this week finds that local efforts produce small economic benefits, but cause a notable increase in the size of local government. more»

One Year Later: Lessons Learned from the Target Breach

Gunter Ollmann As the autumn leaves fall from naked trees to be trampled or encased in the winter snow, it reminds us of another year quickly gone by. Yet, for organisations that were breached and publicly scrutinised for their security lapses, it's been a long and arduous year. It was about this time last year that the news broke of Target's mega breach. Every news outlet was following the story and drip feeding readers with details, speculation and "expert opinion" on what happened, why it happened and who did it. more»

Wait and See Approach on Abuse

Michael Young Wait and see approach on abuse attracts ICANN Stakeholder attention: A few weeks ago I made a detailed argument as to why product safety applies to domains, just like it does to cars and high chairs. I also argued that good products equal good business or "economically advantaged" in the long run. Then I really made a strong statement, I said if we don't actively engage other Internet stakeholders -- those that interact with our products, we would eventually lose the opportunity to self-regulate. more»

Business Model Canvas for SaaS Providers

Peter HJ van Eijk As a follow up to the earlier article on the IaaS business model, here is a high level overview of the SaaS provider business model and some of the strategic options that are in there... As examples in this article I consider two hypothetical SaaS providers. The first one delivers bookkeeping software, the second one delivers a project collaboration platform. more»

Privacy, Risk and Revenue

John Berard The nation's leading organization of government, corporate and academic privacy executives -- the International Association of Privacy Professionals -- recently did what good groups do, it issued a report that validated the pursuit of the career it supports... the IAPP reminded all what has long been understood -- privacy is an important and growing risk management activity under the watchful eye (mostly) of general counsels. With $2.4 billions being spent this year and $3 billion next, it is a growth industry. more»

Cloud 2015: Top Five Considerations

David Eisner As 2014 winds down, cloud spending is up. That's the word from research firm IDC -- as reported by IT Jungle, cloud spending will reach over $56 billion this year and won't stop anytime soon. By 2018, predictions peg the cloud as worth $127 billion, and that's just counting "core" cloud services such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Cloud-based peripherals, the Internet of Things and other cloud initiatives are also on track to make an impact; here's a quick look at top cloud considerations for the coming year. more»

New .VIN Domain Names: What About Accents?

Jean Guillon What exactly is that "reserved list of names" Fadi Chehadé refers to in his letter dated October the 22nd? If we already have an idea, we wonder if they considered protecting more than just "accents". The name of Hogan Lovells was mentioned in the last Safebrands "RINDD" and their input on this question is welcome if they are the company to be working on that list. more»

News Briefs

South Korea Receives Nuclear Plan Cyberattack Threats, Takes Emergency Measures

Reuters – South Korea's nuclear operator and the energy ministry is keeping emergency teams on stand-by to the end of this year in case of any cyberattacks on nuclear plants as threatened by a hacker... The company and the ministry set up emergency teams on Wednesday after a hacker demanded the shutdown of three reactors by Thursday, threatening, in Twitter messages, "destruction" if not. ›››

North Korea Internet Back Up After Nine-Hour Outage

CNN – North Korea's Internet was back up Tuesday after a more than nine-hour outage, according to Dyn Research, a company that monitors Internet performance. The disruption came amid an escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea over a massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures... Matthew Prince, president of CloudFlare, a performance and security company, described the disruption as if "all the routes to get to North Korea just disappeared. ›››

ICANN Targeted in Spear Phishing Attack

In an announcement on Tuesday, ICANN reports that it is investigating a recent intrusion into its systems. The agency believes a "spear phishing" attack was initiated in late November 2014. It involved email messages that were crafted to appear to come from its own domain being sent to members of its staff. ›››

NTIA Reveals How It Manages the Root Zone

Kieren McCarthy reporting in the Register: "The US government has posted a step-by-step guide to how it authorizes changes to the internet's root zone -- the heart of the world's domain-name system. The 16-page slide deck published by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) sheds light on what has been a contentious and largely secret process for the past 15 years." ›››

French Space Agency, CNES, Joins Google's Project Loon

External Source – Google has partnered with the French space agency, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, or CNES, with a goal of reaching higher ground with its Project Loon initiative. Project Loon is essentially a program by Google to bring free Internet to developing countries through low-flying weather balloons that project Wi-Fi signals. The two companies remained relatively quiet about their plans to partner... ›››

NetMundial Initiative Still Lacking Support Despite New Efforts

Kieren McCarthy reporting in the Register: "Plans to create a new internet governance body have grown increasingly desperate... and confusing. A conference call between the organizers of the 'NetMundial Initiative' and business organization the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) earlier this week saw ICANN's CEO Fadi Chehade pleading with the group to withdraw their rejection of the program and join its 'coordination council'" ›››

Google Improving Location-Sensitive DNS Responses for Its 400B Responses-Per-Day Public DNS Service

Google announced today that its Public DNS team, in collaboration with Akamai, has reached a significant milestone improving the speed of accessing location-based Akamai hosted content. ›››

Google Shutting Down Engineering Office in Russia Amid Tighter Data Law

Google is closing its engineering office in Russia as a result of new law coming into force next year requiring foreign firms to store Russian users' personal data on servers located in Russia. ›››

Symantec Chosen as Verification Agent for .bank and .insurance TLDs

fTLD Registry Services, LLC has announced an agreement with Symantec Corporation to provide verification services for the ".bank" and ".insurance" generic top-level domains. According to the report, Symantec will be responsible for adding a layer of protection to the new domains by verifying the eligibility of companies requesting domain names, making sure the person requesting the domain name is authorized by the company and ensuring the name requested by the company complies with fTLD's policies. ›››

IAB Issues Statement on NETmundial Initiative, Says Will Not Participate

Internet Architecture Board issued a statement today announcing that it will not participate in NETmundial Initiative for reasons also expressed by others. Full statement included. ›››

Total Domains Reach 280 Million Worldwide

The second quarter of 2014 closed with a base of 280 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs) -- an increase of four million domain names or 1.4 percent over the first quarter of 2014 -- according to Verisign in its latest issue Domain Name Industry Brief. Registrations have grown by 18.6 million, or 7.2 percent, year over year. ›››

European Parliament Backs Resolution to Break Up Search Giant

Reuters – European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a motion on Thursday urging anti-trust regulators to break up Google, the latest setback for the world's most popular Internet search engine. Google has been in the EU's regulatory sights since 2010, and is also grappling with privacy issues, requests to scrub search results to comply with a court ruling, copyright concerns and tax controversies. ›››

A Survey of Internet Users from 24 Countries Finds 83% Consider Affordable Access Basic Human Right

A survey of Internet users in 24 countries has found that 83% believe affordable access to the Internet should be a basic human right, according to the "CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust." The results of the new survey, commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company Ipsos, were presented today in Ottawa, Canada. ›››

Global Commission on Internet Governance Meets in Ottawa

The group named Global Commission on Internet Governance (CIGI) is meeting in Ottawa, Canada this week with a mandate to deliver policy recommendations for the future of Internet governance by early 2016. The meetings on Monday and Tuesday are the third in a series of international gatherings since the group formed in January. ›››

Japanese ISP Buys Z.com Domain For Close to $7 Million

One of Japan's leading Internet services providers and domain registrar, GMO Internet, Inc., today announced the acquisition of the single-character domain name, Z.com for JPY ¥800 million (close to USD $7 million). According to the company, the acquisition is part of a plan to unify its global strategy under the brand name, Z.com and building GMO's "core values and objectives into the Z.com brand" ›››

DNS Based DDoS Attacks Using White House Press Releases

Ars Technica – Akamai has issued a security bulletin about a new form of Domain Name Service-based distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that emerged in October, attacks that can significantly boost the volume of data flung at a targeted server. The method builds upon the well-worn DNS reflection attack method used frequently in past DDoS attacks, exploiting part of the DNS record returned by domain queries to increase the amount of data sent to the target -- by stuffing it full of information from President Barack Obama's press office. ›››

Pay Phones in New York City Being Replaced With Close to 10,000 Free Wi-Fi Kiosks

Wired News – By this time next year, if all goes according to plan, there will be a new fixture on streets of New York: hundreds of slim aluminum pillars, each providing some of the fastest free internet available anywhere in the world. The kiosks are part of the ambitious initiative LinkNYC, which earlier this week was chosen to replace the city's aging and all but forgotten pay phones. ›››

Group Announces Certificate Authority to Encrypt the Entire Web, Lunching in 2015

EFF, Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai, Identrust, and researchers at the University of Michigan today announced a new certificate authority (CA) initiative called "Let's Encrypt". ›››

IAB Urges Developers to Encrypt by Default

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has issued a statement recommending that encryption be the default traffic option for protocols: "The IAB urges protocol designers to design for confidential operation by default. We strongly encourage developers to include encryption in their implementations, and to make them encrypted by default. We similarly encourage network and service operators to deploy encryption where it is not yet deployed, and we urge firewall policy administrators to permit encrypted traffic." ›››

ISOC Will Not Participate in NETmundial Initiative

The Internet Society Board of Trustees has issued an announcement stating that it cannot agree to participate in or endorse the Coordination Council for the NETmundial Initiative. "We are concerned that the way in which the NETmundial Initiative is being formed does not appear to be consistent with the Internet Society’s longstanding principles," says the statement released today. ›››

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Industry Updates

Season's Greetings - 2014 End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

DotConnectAfrica 2014 proved to be another eventful year for DCA Trust, and its technology sector affiliates; namely, DCA Registry Services (Kenya) Ltd., and the Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA). more»

Minds + Machines in 2014 and 2015

Minds + Machines On January 1, 2014, Minds + Machines was trading at 14p. As of yesterday our share price was 7p. You might conclude from this that our company has declined by a factor of two. But from our perspective, exactly the opposite has happened. Why the disconnect? more»

New .VOTE and .VOTO Domains Launched

Afilias Monolith Registry, a venture backed by global registry services provider Afilias, today announced the first phase of the introduction of two new generic top-level domains: "dot VOTE" or .VOTE; and its Spanish/Italian/Portuguese counterpart "dot VOTO" or .VOTO. more»

Consumers Prefer the .ORGANIC Domain for True-Organic Goods

Afilias .ORGANIC domain operator Afilias today announced the results of new research that provides important insights regarding U.K. and U.S. Internet users' experience finding organic products and services online. more»

DNW Podcast Interview with Antony Van Couvering

Minds + Machines Antony Van Couvering, founder and CEO of Minds + Machines was recently interviewed by DNW's Andrew Allemann discussing new Top-Level Domains. more»

TLD Registry and Right of the Dot Establish a Domain Name Industry "Dream Team"

Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website TLD Registry Ltd, the world's leading Internationalized Domain Name "New gTLD" registry, announced a partnership agreement with the influential Internet advising and consulting firm, Right of the Dot, LLC (ROTD). more»

TLD Registry Ltd Welcomes New Board Members

Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website TLD Registry Ltd today announced three newest members of the board: Chairwoman of the board Kirsi Eräkangas (伊可思), Vice Chairman Harri Koponen (柯皓锐), and board member Jari Tuovinen (陶杰瑞). more»

New .LGBT Top-Level Domain Launched

Afilias Global registry services provider Afilias today announced the first phase of the introduction of a new generic top-level domain that is dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and those who serve it: dot LGBT or .LGBT. more»

.sydney Domain Names Now Available in Pre-Release

ARI Registry Services Sydney’s most highly prized online real estate assets have today been released to the market as Australia’s most iconic city inherits a truly iconic web address with the launch of .sydney domain names for pre-release applications. more»

"Chinese Domaining Masterclass" to be Presented at NamesCon Las Vegas in January 2015

Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website The second annual NamesCon domain name conference, to be held in Las Vegas in January 2015, is proud to announce a major lecture series presented by TLD Registry, the world's leading Chinese domain name registry. more»

Auction and Sales Channel Update

Minds + Machines Minds + Machines has announce that following the recent series of private auctions, the Company will receive in aggregate $4.4 million (approximately £2.8 million) for withdrawing its applications on .latino, .school and a third domain application that at present cannot be named due to the rules governing the private auction process. more»

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