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Is Starlink the Tesla of Broadband Access? I Have a Chance to Find Out

Tom Evslin Starlink is satellite internet access from SpaceX, one of Elon Musk's other companies. If it lives up to its hype, it will cure the problem of broadband availability in rural areas, although affordability will still be an issue. Most satellite-based Internet access sucks (that's a technical term). If based on geostationary satellites (ones you can point a dish at), the distance to the satellite is so great that the round-trip time for data is forever; this problem is called latency. more

The Netizen's Guide To Reboot The Root (Part I)

Greg Thomas In the world of ICANN and Internet policy, complexity is manufactured to create an illusion that issues are impenetrably technical such that normal and everyday principles can't apply. This causes a pervasive and entrenched phenomenon of eyes that glaze over at the mere mention of the word "ICANN" -- including those of government regulators and other officials that might otherwise take more of an active interest. more

Looking Back at the Broadband Industry in 2020

Doug Dawson I periodically take a look at broadband trends into the future. But as I was thinking about how unique 2020 was for everybody, I realized that there were some events during the year that we're going to look back on a decade from now as important to the broadband industry. Interestingly, most of these events were not on anybody's radar at the beginning of the year. more

The Legacy of the Pai FCC

Doug Dawson As is normal with a change of administration, there are articles in the press discussing the likely legacy of the outgoing administration. Leading the pack in singing his own praises is former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who recently published this document listing a huge list of accomplishments of the FCC under his Chairmanship. Maybe it's just me, but it feels unseemly for a public servant to publish an official self-praise document. more

Why the Internet is Not Like a Railroad

John Levine When one person transmits the speech of another, we have had three legal models, which I would characterize as Magazine, Bookstore, and Railroad. The Magazine model makes the transmitting party a publisher who is entirely responsible for whatever the material says. The publisher selects and reviews all the material it published. If users contribute content such as letters to the editor, the publisher reviews them and decides which to publish. more

Securing the DNS in a Post-Quantum World: Hash-Based Signatures and Synthesized Zone Signing Keys

Dr. Burt Kaliski Jr. In my last article, I described efforts underway to standardize new cryptographic algorithms that are designed to be less vulnerable to potential future advances in quantum computing. I also reviewed operational challenges to be considered when adding new algorithms to the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). In this post, I'll look at hash-based signatures, a family of post-quantum algorithms that could be a good match for DNSSEC from the perspective of infrastructure stability. more

Notorious Markets, Scams and Implications for Brands

Frederick Felman On January 14, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List, or NML). This publication enumerates online and physical markets that have been reported to engage in trademark, counterfeiting, and copyright infringement at scale. For the first time, the NML documents show how internet platforms play a part in bringing illicit goods into the US. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2020

Larry Press I posted reviews of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments during 2017, 2018 and 2019. I've updated those posts during the years and have 18 new posts for 2020. In 2020 we saw increased effort from China, OneWeb's bankruptcy and restructuring with new ownership and prospects, Amazon investng in space-related infrastructure, Telesat making steady progress, SpaceX making rapid progress and satellite and debris tracking and collision-avoidsnce service startups. The following are brief summaries of and links to the 2020 posts. more

Reality Check on the 5G Security MAGAverse

Anthony Rutkowski As chance has it, the attempt by NTIA to create a fake Trump Open 5G Security Framework MAGAverse as they headed out the door on 15 January is being followed this week by the global meeting of 3GPP SA3 (Security) to advance the industry's real open 5G security Framework. Designated TSGS3-102e (the 102nd meeting, occurring electronically), it continues the practice of assembling companies, organisations, and agencies from around the world every 8 to 12 weeks to focus on 5G security for current and future releases of 5G infrastructure. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 7: Articles 20-21

Klaus Stoll Internet Governance, like all governance, needs to be founded on guiding principles from which all policymaking is derived. There are no more fundamental principles to guide policymaking than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This article, Part 7 of a series, looks at Articles 20 and 21 and explores how principles in the UDHR and lessons learned over the last half-century help define the rights and duties of one's engagement in the digital spaces of the Internet ecosystem. more

Securing the DNS in a Post-Quantum World: New DNSSEC Algorithms on the Horizon

Dr. Burt Kaliski Jr. One of the "key" questions cryptographers have been asking for the past decade or more is what to do about the potential future development of a large-scale quantum computer. If theory holds, a quantum computer could break established public-key algorithms including RSA and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), building on Peter Shor's groundbreaking result from 1994. more

WHOIS Record Redaction and GDPR: What's the Evolution Post-2018?

Jonathan Zhang We all use the Internet daily. Practically every element of our reality has its equal in the virtual realm. Friends turn into social media contacts, retail establishments to e-commerce shops, and so on. We can't deny that the way the Internet was designed, to what it has become, differs much. One example that we'll tackle in this post is the seeming loss of connection between domains and their distinguishable owners. more

One More Trump 5G Minefield

Anthony Rutkowski As the saying goes, it's not over until it's over. So, it wasn't surprising that Trump's minions just got one last 5G minefield out the door. On 15 January, his followers at Dept. of Commerce's NTIA published the "National Strategy to Secure 5G Implementation Plan". The 40-page document consists of a fairly standard Washington policy playbook of 18 activities with six annexes that "details how the United States along with like-minded countries will lead global development, deployment, and... more

A Look Back at the World of IP Addressing in 2020: What Changed and What It Means

Geoff Huston Time for another annual roundup from the world of IP addresses. Let's see what has changed in the past 12 months in addressing the Internet and look at how IP address allocation information can inform us of the changing nature of the network itself. Back around 1992, the IETF gazed into their crystal ball and tried to understand how the Internet was going to evolve and what demands would be placed on the addressing system as part of the "IP Next Generation" study.  more

Verisign Outreach Program Remediates Billions of Name Collision Queries

Matt Thomas A name collision occurs when a user attempts to resolve a domain in one namespace, but it unexpectedly resolves in a different namespace. Name collision issues in the public global Domain Name System (DNS) cause billions of unnecessary and potentially unsafe DNS queries every day. A targeted outreach program that Verisign started in March 2020 has remediated one billion queries per day to the A and J root name servers, via 46 collision strings. more

News Briefs

DNSSEC Now Deployed in all Generic Top-Level Domains, Says ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers organization (ICANN org) announced that all of the current 1,195 generic top-level domains (gTLDs) have deployed Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). more

Donuts Completes the Acquisition of Afilias

Donuts stated today that it has completed the acquisition of Afilias announced on November 19. Donuts' CEO Akram Atallah says the company is now ready to begin the integration plan promising minimal disruptions to customers. more

The Government of Niue Launches Proceedings With ICANN to Reclaim Its .nu Top-Level Domain

The Government of Niue, a small island 2,400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand, launched proceedings today demanding a "redelegation" of its country code top-level domain, .nu, from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). more

A New Privacy-Focused DNS Protocol Released Called Oblivious

Cloudflare and Apple, along with Fastly, on Tuesday announced a new proposed DNS standard that separates IP addresses from queries preventing an entity from seeing both at the same time. more

Internet Society Extends Its Significant Financial Support Commitment to the IETF

According to an announcement on Monday, the Internet Society has agreed to extend its existing financial commitment to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for an additional term of six years. more

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Registers Its 50,000th "Cybersquatting" Case

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center on Monday announced it had registered its 50,000th "cybersquatting" case. The 50,000th case just received by WIPO coincides with the organization's 20th anniversary on November 20, 2020. more

DDoS Attacks Are Surging Both in Frequency and Sophistication

Cloudflare's new report warns about the significant increase of DDoS attacks and their level of sophistication. The numbers doubled from Q1 to Q2 and doubled again in Q3, resulting in a four-fold increase compared to the pre-COVID level in the first quarter. more

Donuts to Acquire Afilias

Donuts and Afilias announced today that Donuts is acquiring Afilias in a deal that is expected to close in December 2020 for an undisclosed amount. The combined entities will support over 25 million domain names spanning well over 400 TLDs. The deal will not include certain Afilias businesses, such as the mobile software and registrar businesses, which will remain with Afilias' original group of investors. more

U.S. Military Is Buying Location Data of People Around the World Through Ordinary Apps

The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of ordinary people worldwide, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, reports Motherboard. Among the apps connected to this type of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app with more than 98 million downloads worldwide. more

Backlash Over Potential Firing of U.S. Election Cybersecurity's Top Official

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with over forty other cybersecurity experts and organizations, are urging the White House to keep politics out of securing this month's election in the U.S. more

SpaceX Gets FCC’s Approval to Bid in a Federal Auction for Rural-Broadband Funding

SpaceX's Starlink project appears to be the only low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite ISP among close to 400 ISPs to qualify to bid in a U.S. federal rural-broadband funding auction. more

New Data Reveals Phishing Attacks Are Bigger Than Reported, Exact Size of Problem Unknown

A group of experts from Interisle Consulting Group released a paper today, reporting a comprehensive study of the phishing landscape in 2020. The study's goal was to capture and analyze a large set of information about phishing attacks to better understand how much phishing is taking place, where it is taking place, and better ways to fight them. more

CENTR Has Released an Animated Video on ccTLDs and Their Technical Role Concerning Content

Due to increased legislative interest in this topic, CENTR says there is a pressing need for comprehensive educational material on the technical capabilities of the DNS, ccTLDs and their role in the internet ecosystem. more

New Digital Services Act Should Not Disrupt Internet's Technical Operations, Warn RIPE NCC, CENTR

RIPE NCC and CENTR have released a statement today in response to the upcoming European Commission's Digital Services Act, urging policymakers to distinguish between the Internet's core infrastructure and operations. more

First Round of U.S. Layoffs Due to Huawei Blockade

Neophotonics, the Nasdaq-listed producer of various optical communications products, including silicon photonics and photonic integrated circuits (PICs), warned investor this week that the new restrictions on business with China's Huawei - its largest customer - could have a major impact on future sales. more

ICANN Introduces Pandemic Internet Access Reimbursement Program

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on Monday announced its Pandemic Internet Access Program Pilot for the upcoming ICANN69 meetings. more

China Accuses Washington of Damaging Global Trade With Huawei Sanctions

Today, China accused Washington of damaging global trade with sanctions against the tech giant Huawei and says it will protect Chinese companies. more

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

On Monday, the Trump administration announced plans to auction off 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum dedicated initially to military purposes for commercial use starting in mid-2022 to fuel 5G network deployment in the United States. more

Internet Society Calls the US Clean Network Program a Political Act, A Push Towards "Splinternet"

The Internet Society (ISOC) has condemned the U.S. Clean Network Program announced last week, which proclaims to safeguard America's critical telecommunications and technology infrastructure. more

Google Announces New Subsea Cable Running Between U.S., U.K. And Spain

The cable named "Grace Hopper" after an American computer science pioneer Grace Brewster Murray Hopper will be the new addition to Google's other subsea cables, Curie, Dunant and Equiano connecting far-flung continents along the ocean floor. more

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Industry Updates

Blind Eagle Targeted Attack: Using Threat Intelligence Tools for IoC Analysis and Expansion

WhoisXML API Blind Eagle is a South American threat actor group believed to be behind APT-C-36 and that has been active since at least 2018. It primarily targets Colombian government institutions and large corporations in the financial, petroleum, and professional manufacturing industries. more

Cyber Threat Intel Analysis and Expansion of SolarWinds Identified IoCs

WhoisXML API The SolarWinds hack affected several government agencies and tech companies in the U.S. and worldwide. The sophisticated malware attack is believed to have compromised the trusted IT management software as early as March 2020 but only came to light in December. more

New Study by eco Alliance: Best Practices Show Future Potential for Green IT 2030

eco Are European data centres ready for the climate targets of the EU Green Deal, to strengthen climate and environmental protection through digitalisation? A new study with best practices in the field of energy-efficient data centres formulates technological development potentials as well as policy recommendations. more

All Roads Lead to… Domains: Why the Humble Domain Name is the Foundation of Your Online Security

CSC For most people, a domain is just an address that you type into a browser, but for businesses, domain names are the foundation of their online presence. A recent article says, "When it comes to operating a business online, the domain name is the center of everything. The domain name should ensure a frictionless and painless experience for the company, its customers, its partners and suppliers, and its employees." more

Enriching Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems with IP and Domain Intelligence

WhoisXML API Intrusion detection systems (IDSs) and intrusion prevention systems (IPSs), collectively called "intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPSs)," monitor network traffic to stave off unauthorized access. Roughly speaking, an IDS detects possible malicious network activities, while an IPS stops malicious traffic from entering and possibly damaging a network. more

Threat Intel Expansion on Cosmic Lynx BEC Campaign's Recorded IoCs

WhoisXML API Why go after individuals when you can get greater rewards by zooming in on more lucrative targets like large multinational corporations (MNCs)? That's the premise behind the Cosmic Lynx business email compromise (BEC) campaign that brought several MNCs, many of which were Fortune 500 or Global 2000 companies, to their knees. more

QAnon and 8Chan Digital Footprint Analysis and Investigation Expansion

WhoisXML API In October, Brian Krebs reported that several websites related to 8Chan and QAnon went offline, albeit only briefly. That happened when the entity protecting them from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, CNServers LLC, terminated its service to hundreds of Spartan Host IP addresses... more

Attack Surface Discovery: A Review of FINRA-lookalike Domain and Linked IoCs

WhoisXML API More recently, phishers used a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) look-alike domain in an attempt to breach several of its members' networks. Tasked to oversee 624,000 brokers in the U.S., attacking FINRA's clientele could yield a hefty sum should phishing email recipients fall for the ruse. more

A Brief OSINT Analysis of Charming Kitten IoCs

WhoisXML API Charming Kitten is a cybercriminal group believed to be of Iranian origin, which was first seen in 2014, but had been active for years after the initial detection. The group use an intricate web of methods such as spear phishing and impersonation. more

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q4 2020

MarkMonitor In our latest New gTLD Quarterly Report for the fourth quarter of 2020, we're pleased to provide a collection of articles about Q4 2020 topical registration activity, launch information, DNS abuse, .brand news and notes and industry meeting updates. more

Revisiting APT1 IoCs with DNS and Subdomain Intelligence

WhoisXML API Cyber espionage is a type of cyber attack that aims to steal sensitive and often classified information to gain an advantage over a company or government. The 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) revealed that several hundreds of incidents across industries in the previous year were motivated by espionage. more

Dark Caracal: Undisclosed Targeted Attack IoCs Can Pose Risks

WhoisXML API Targeted attacks are known as some of the most destructive cyber attacks in that they zoom in on organizations that either provide critical services or have massive user bases. more

Mobile, Social, and Recommerce: The Top eCommerce Trends from 2020

CSC This year has seen rapid growth for eCommerce, with people turning to online shopping more than ever due to lockdowns and quarantine restrictions. Recent studies have shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. more

How Much of a Fortune 500 Company's Digital Footprint Can Be Publicly Attributed to It?

WhoisXML API Not all of the domains that contain a company's brand are under its control. A portion of them - sometimes even the vast majority -- is typically registered by unidentifiable third parties with masked WHOIS records. Arguably, WHOIS redaction might also be preferred by the companies themselves for privacy purposes. But to which extent is this the case? more

A Look Into Tor Nodes' Locations and ISPs with IP Intelligence

WhoisXML API The Tor Project has been synonymous with the Deep Web, as it is a primary method by which users can access hidden portions of the Internet. Besides traffic encryption, an additional feature that gives Tor users anonymity is that their network traffic passes through several nodes, making the real source unidentifiable. more

Verisign Q3 2020 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 370.7M Domain Name Registrations

Verisign Today, we released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which shows that the third quarter of 2020 closed with 370.7 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of 0.6 million domain name registrations, or 0.2 percent, compared to the second quarter of 2020. Domain name registrations have grown by 10.8 million, or 3.0 percent, year over year. more

What Subdomains Lookup Revealed About Thousands of Microsoft-Related Subdomains

WhoisXML API Microsoft is among the most imitated brands globally. Running the company's popular product and service names, such as LinkedIn, Office365, and Windows, on a subdomains lookup tool, we uncovered 7,900 related subdomains. more

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Chuck Gomes VP of Policy and Compliance, Naming and Directory Services at VeriSign 2 posts viewed 26,655 times
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