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Did the DPRK Hack Sony?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

What exactly is that "reserved list of names" Fadi ChehadĂ© 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»

Early Data Suggests New gTLDs Perform Well in Search Environment

Internet addresses registered in new gTLDs are holding their own against -- and in some cases outperforming -- comparable addresses registered in legacy domains like .COM, according to new data that provides the best window yet into the operational functionality of new gTLD addresses. A question on everyone's mind in the run up to new gTLDs was: how would new domains perform in the wild against legacy domains on the key criteria of search? more»

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