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Featured Blogs

Cybersquatting and Reverse Domain Name Hijacking: UDRP to ACPA

Gerald M. Levine Trademark owners in the U.S. have a choice in suing for alleged cybersquatting: either the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Of the two, the UDRP is far and away the forum of choice for a very good reason: it is speedy, efficient, and inexpensive. Complaint to award can be concluded in less than 45 days. more

Malware Detection Provider Gets Important Victory Allowing It to Flag Unwanted Driver Installer

Evan D. Brown Despite a recent Ninth Circuit decision denying immunity to malware detection software for targeting competitor's software, court holds that Section 230 protected Malwarebytes from liability for designating software driver program as potentially unwanted program. Plaintiff provided software that works in real-time in the background of the operating system to optimize processing and locate and install missing and outdated software drivers. more

Using Bigger Bandwidth Applications

Doug Dawson The recent Cisco Annual Internet Report for 2018–2023 had one chart that I found intriguing. The purpose of Cisco's report is to look at the future of broadband usage, and the report included a chart showing the amount of bandwidth needed for various web functions. To me, this list was reminiscent of the list that the FCC made in 2015 when they set the definition of broadband at 25/3 Mbps -- except that all of the items on this list require more bandwidth than the functions the FCC foresaw just five years ago. more

COVID-19: Business and Brand Protection Response

Frederick Felman With the COVID-19 health crisis evolving so quickly, it's hard to predict the extent of the long-term impact on business and the economy. While every business sector is facing different considerations, it's safe to say all are handling challenges from supply chain interruptions, rapid shifts to remote work, and massive changes in consumer spending and communication habits. more

Societies Running on Quicksand: A Critical Look at Today's Networks

Juha Holkkola The last few weeks have reinforced the importance of modern communication networks to societies. Health care providers, schools, governments, and businesses all rely on networks that enable us to connect and collaborate remotely. Had we encountered a similar pandemic ten years ago, we would not have been able to continue our activities on the level that is possible today. more

How Companies Can Use the UDRP to Combat Rising COVID-19-Related Phishing

Evan D. Brown Straightforward out-of-court domain name proceeding can provide efficient relief against fraudulent websites and email. Google has seen a steep rise amid the Coronavirus pandemic in new websites set up to engage in phishing (i.e. fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and financial details). Companies in all industries - not just the financial sector - are at risk from this nefarious practice. But one relatively simple out-of-court proceeding may provide relief. more

Quantifying the Homework Gap – Finally a Definitive Study

Doug Dawson The Quello Center that is part of the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University just released a definitive study that looks at the impact of lack of broadband on students. The study was done in conjunction with Merit Networks, the organization that acts as the ISP for schools in Michigan. I describe the study as definitive because it used study techniques that isolate the impact of broadband from other factors such as sex, race, and family income. more

Technology Vendors Must Be Proactive in Dealing With COVID-19 Problems

Evan D. Brown Early action now on possible performance issues will "flatten the curve" of customer problems in the coming weeks and months. Here are three things technology and software vendors can do right now to get ahead of problems that may appear (if they are not already) with services such as development, implementation and support... Check your contracts to see whether there are any "material assumptions" that have failed or will fail - perhaps because of some governmental action or unavailability of personnel... more

DoH Might Not Be the Answer After All

Samuel Bocetta DNS-over-HTTPs (DoH) has sometimes been regarded as the next big thing in web security. The system, it's been argued, can help to defeat many common types of cyberattack -- and particularly DNS cache poisoning and MITM eavesdropping. Presumably, this is the reason that both Google and Mozilla implemented DoH in their browsers (Chrome and Firefox, respectively) at the end of last year. In reality, though, it's far from clear that DoH is a solution to any real-world problem. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 4: Article 13-15

Klaus Stoll This is Part 4 of a series of articles published (here in CircleID) on the UDHR and human rights in the cyberspaces of the Internet Ecosystem. Here we discuss Articles 13-15 and touch on other topics such as the role of cyber governance, empowered digital citizenship, and whistleblowers. At this point in this series of articles on the UDHR in the digital age, it is useful to pause and remind ourselves of the purpose of this analysis. more

Good Internet Hygiene During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Melinda Clem We are all aware of the steps for mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Wash your hands; Practice social distancing; Report exposure.But these are not the only activities to practice right now. Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of this health crisis and the emotional upheaval it creates to perpetrate their crimes. Therefore, we also need to exercise good internet hygiene. In a time of crisis or tragedy, bad actors don't slow down; their efforts amplify. more

A New Busy Hour – One of the Many Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Doug Dawson One of the many consequences of the coronavirus is that networks are going to see a shift in busy hour traffic. Busy hour traffic is just what it sounds like -- it's the time of the day when a network is busiest, and network engineers design networks to accommodate the expected peak amount of bandwidth usage. Verizon reported on March 18 that in the week since people started moving to work from home that they've seen a 20% overall increase in broadband traffic. more

ICANN67 Round-Up

Frederick Felman This past meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), ICANN67, was intended to be held in person in Cancun, Mexico, but was actually the first meeting to be held entirely online and virtually. It was a well-managed affair with fewer sessions than the in-person meetings and less opportunity for the community to convene and meet as individuals. The last-minute change from an in-person to a virtual meeting impacted ICANN's ability to provide translation services for the full set of UN-supported languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. more

Low-Orbit Satellite Security

Doug Dawson I've been watching the progress of the low-orbit satellite providers, which are promising to bring broadband solutions across the planet. There has been some serious movement since the last time I discussed their status. On January 29, Starlink launched its latest round of low-orbit satellites, bringing the number in space to 242. Not all of these will be delivering broadband. The first half dozen satellites were test units to try out various concepts. more

China Mobile Is Reporting 15M 5G Contracts, 8.7M Joined in February

Dave Burstein 5G is growing by millions per month in China, although the exact status is unclear. The telcos are reporting "contracts," which continue to be far higher than the separately reported 5G phone sales. more

News Briefs

Vint Cerf Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Internet pioneer and vice president of research at Google, Vint Cerf, said in a tweet this morning that he has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). more

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless Internet service providers serving 330 counties in the U.S. to help them serve rural communities facing an increase in broadband needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. more

Over 360 Security Experts Around the World From Group to Combat COVID-19 Hackers, Protect Hospitals

An international group of more than 360 cyber threat intelligence researchers from over 40 countries have joined forces to help the medical sector amid the COVID-19 crisis. more

BT Removes Broadband Caps, Offers Unlimited Data to Customers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

British telecommunications giant BT Group, which also owns the UK's biggest mobile services provider EE, has annouced it is removing all caps on its customers' home broadband plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. more

EU Commissioner Calls on Streaming Services to Switch Streaming Videos From HD to Standard Mode

European Union Internet Market Commissioner Thierry Breton called on streaming services on Thursday, urging them to switch video quality from high definition to standard mode in order to reduce increasing strain on bandwidth during COVID-19 pandemic. Following a phone call with the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, Commissioner Breton, said: "Europe and the whole world are facing an unprecedented situation. more

Public Interest Registry, ICANN Agree to Extend Deadline on Review of Proposed Acquisition of .ORG

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Public Interest Registry (PIR) today announced that they have mutually agreed to extend ICANN's time to review PIR's submissions to April 20th. more

U.S. Health Agency Suffers From Cyberattack, COVID-19 Disruptions by Foreign Actors Suspected

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is reported to have suffered from cyberattacks on its computer system believed, by those familiar with the incident, to be a disruption and disinformation campaign aimed at undermining the response to the coronavirus pandemic. more

Broadband Companies Take Connectivity Pledge Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Broadband and telephone service providers of all sizes in the US have signed on to a "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" aimed at maintaining connectivity for citizens amid disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. more

Over 50 Domain Operators in China Ask ICANN for Immediate Fee Waivers Due to Impact from Coronavirus

Over 50 domain name registries and registrars in China have sent a joint letter to ICANN requesting immediate consideration to remove the 2020 fees. more

FCC Proposes Over $200 Million in Fines Against Four Largest Wireless Carriers

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed fines against the country's four largest wireless carriers for apparently selling access to their customers' location information without taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to that information. more

Firefox Starts the Roll Out of DNS Over HTTPS (DoH) by Default for US-Based Users

According to the company, the rollout will continue over the next few weeks to confirm that no major issues are discovered as this new protocol is enabled. more

ICANN to Hold First-Ever Remote Public Meeting

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that its ICANN67 Public Meeting, which was to be held in Cancún, Mexico, will now be held via remote participation-only. This decision was made as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, considered a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. more

Israel's Entire Voter Registry Exposed, the Massive Data Leak Involves 6.5 Million Voters

Israel's entire voter registry was recently uploaded to a vulnerable voting management app which effectively left the data wide open for days. more

American University Washington College of Law to Hold Open Discussion on the .ORG Sale Controversy

The American University Washington College of Law announced it will be hosting a fireside chat on the sale of the Public Interest Registry (PIR) to the private equity firm Ethos Capital. more

Highly Sensitive Domain Corp.com Up for Sale by Original Owner, Calls It a 'Chemical Waste Dump'

Fallen into the wrong hands, corp.com can be an extremely dangerous domain name providing a doorway to hundreds of thousands of corporate PCs. more

Coronavirus Exposes China's Deep Surveillance State

Surveillance cameras in China can detect fevers with infrared cameras to an accuracy within 0.3℃ and recognize faces even if they are wearing masks. more

California Attorney General Asks ICANN for Detailed Information On the .ORG Sale

A notice released by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has disclosed that the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California has requested extensive information from the agency regarding the proposed sale and transfer of Public Interest Registry (PIR) from the Internet Society (ISOC) to Ethos Capital. more

FCC Gives Google, Sony and Others Full Authorization for Commercial Deployment of 3.5 GHz Spectrum

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday announced it is allowing full commercial use of 3.5 GHz band for broadband connectivity and 5G. more

CENTR Reports Decreased Growth in European ccTLDs

According to the latest quarterly report from the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR), the median growth in European ccTLDs during 2019 was recorded at 2.4% YOY, down from the 3.1% recorded at the same time in 2018. more

Red Sea Region Suffers From Multi-Day Internet Outage Following an Undersea Cable Cut

Damage to a single submarine cable has left the entire Red Sea region disconnected from the Internet. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Ethiopia have all suffered from the last week's cut of the so-called Falcon cable. more

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Industry Updates

How a Passive DNS Database Can Help Improve Cyber Resilience

WhoisXML API As cyber-attacks become more robust and sophisticated every day, the world of cybersecurity saw the need to shift. Hence, cyber resilience became the new norm. Cyber resilience bases itself on the fact that cyber risks are no longer just IT risks but also business risks. more

Preventing Media Theft with an IP Geolocation Database

WhoisXML API Since time immemorial, entertainment companies always had to contend with content theft. Bootleggers are nothing new in the industry, and their ways have evolved much along with technology. more

Beyond the Firewall: DNS Defenses to Manage Online Threats

CSC The domain name system (DNS) forms the underlying infrastructure for how the internet works, serving as a directory to point users to the right web content. When DNS goes down, websites, email, voice-over IP, and remote employee login goes down with it. more

Beefing Up Trademark Monitoring with Domain Brand Monitoring Solutions

WhoisXML API Thousands of trademark infringement cases get heard every year -- some of which are more unexpected than others. For instance, let's take a look at one that originates in the world of fiction. Like SpongeBob himself and Patrick, the Krusty Krab has been a centerpiece in the "SpongeBob SquarePants" cartoon series and movies. more

2 Ways Content Filtering With Website Contacts and Categorization Can Help Businesses

WhoisXML API The business world has seemingly divided views on content filtering. Some say that the tactic is too restrictive, while others opine that it can help in a lot of ways. Building on the latter perspective, in an age when the Internet has become a breeding ground for almost anything. more

Using Email Validation Tools to Stop Malspam Campaigns in Their Tracks

WhoisXML API Melissa, what many consider to be the first malspam campaign, emerged in 1999. Once successfully installed, the "mass-mailing" virus forwarded copies of itself to the first 50 email addresses on a victim's contact list. While the malware wasn't as dangerous as current variants, it could still effectively max out network resources, resulting in downtime. more

How to Build an Attack Profile with WHOIS Database Download as a Starting Point

WhoisXML API Fighting cybercrime is a never-ending battle. As threat actors continue to craft different ways to attack and scam their target victims, companies need to build their security arsenals to fight against all kinds of threats. What's more, an effective way to achieve cyber resilience is by getting to know the enemy and build attack profiles. more

Internet and Mobile Exploitation of the Coronavirus

Appdetex Following our initial blog on the subject of Internet sites and domains seeking to profit from the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, we dug deeper into the topic. Appdetex looked at keywords within domain names, website content, social media handles and marketplace listings that would likely be related to the coronavirus outbreak. Though the result of this work is related to a very limited set of keywords, the quantities of results delivered are statistically significant in many cases. more

Prevent Network Users from Visiting Fake Domains and Settlement Pages with WHOIS Lookups

WhoisXML API Typosquatting is a malicious tactic that cyberattackers employ to entrap users who mistype web addresses on their browsers. Often, mistyped domain addresses redirect to copycats of legitimate sites and are owned by threat actors. more

How IP Geolocation Lookups Help Thwart Cyber Attacks

WhoisXML API Cyber attacks can hit any organization and even derail its operation on a grand scale. Just recently, ISS World, a facility management service provider with clients in more than 70 countries worldwide, released a statement where it mentions being the victim of a malware attack. more

Verisign Q4 2019 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 362.3 Million Domains in Q4 of 2019

Verisign Verisign today released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which shows that the fourth quarter of 2019 closed with 362.3 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of 2.4 million domain name registrations, or 0.7 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Domain name registrations have grown by 13.5 million, or 3.9 percent, year over year. more

Why Typosquatting Protection Is a Must for Settlement Pages

WhoisXML API The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal statute that restricts telemarketers from making automated and unsolicited calls as well as sending faxes and messages to people. Affected individuals may choose to file a complaint and collect a minimum of US$500 for each illegal communication received. more

Banks, Cars, or Insurance: Which Industry Takes the Lead in Dot Brand Use?

CSC Your .BRAND ownership equates to authority in the new generic top-level domain space – showing that you, not a competitor – is the owner of the brand to the right of the dot. more

Radix Reports Over 54% Growth in Profit for 2019, Revenue Grows by Over 26%

Radix Radix, one of the world's largest nTLD portfolio registries, announced today that it grossed over $21M in total revenue in 2019, a 26% rise over its revenue in 2018. more

Phishing Attacks Still Haunt Banking Institutions: How Can Domain Reputation Checks Help?

WhoisXML API Phishing attacks continue to post an upward trend. Over the years, phishers have improved their methods, using very convincing domains to bait victims into their schemes. more

How to Protect Your Brand with WHOIS-Powered Domain Brand Protection Solutions

WhoisXML API Most businesses know the importance of protecting a brand. But, only a few of them understand that protecting their online properties is just as central to their brand-protection strategies. more

Using WHOIS Domain Lookup Tools to Identify Malicious Domains and Prove Misuse

WhoisXML API Presumptive conclusion or inference suggests that a piece of evidence is authentic based on other facts recognized by the law. When law enforcement and cybersecurity researchers investigate cases, they come across strong evidence that may be insufficient on their own to implicate a victim or move a case forward. more

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