News Briefs


Search Engine Killed The Domain Name Star? Japan Has a New Trend

It appears that many Japanese advertisers are no longer resorting to URL's as their primary means of promoting websites. While recently visiting Japan, blogger Cabel Sasser has made an interesting observation about this trend: "Within minutes of riding on the first trains in Japan, I notice a significant change in advertising, from train to television. The trend? No more printed URL's. The replacement? Search boxes! With recommended search terms! ...getting people to a specific page in a big site is difficult (who's going to write down anything after the first slash?)... But, I ask you: could this be done in the USA?" more»

Report Shows Substantial Rise in Phishing Attacks in 2008

According to a recent security report, the number of phishing attacks on financial services customers has increased dramatically this year, with fraudsters focusing on three banks whose customers they have judged to be particularly vulnerable. Just as phishing seemed to have slipped off the consumer radar, online fraudsters have leapt on the chance to capitalize on this false sense of security and have increased their phishing activity... more»

FCC Ends 700 MHz Spectrum Auction, Raising $19.6 Billion

The controversial 700-MHz spectrum auction has closed, raising $19.59 billion, a record for a spectrum auction in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The 700-MHz auction was the first to require anonymous bidding, and the FCC has not yet revealed which companies won the rights to the bands that were sold. more»

Lawsuit Against ICANN for Denying .xxx Top-Level Domain is Now Possible, Says Attorney

The company behind the proposed .xxx top-level domain, which was rejected after the Bush administration intervened, has been trying to dig up embarrassing government documents through a federal lawsuit. Make that "was trying." Last week a federal judge granted summary judgment to the Bush administration in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the ICM Registrymore»

Escalating Attacks on U.S. Military Networks Linked to China

Numerous hacks from the Far East sure look like concerted attacks against U.S. military installations, but nobody's saying for sure... A Wall Street Journal article March 12 described how military networks are increasingly the targets of hackers. The targets are not limited to actual Department of Defense networks, but can also include defense industries and think tanks. more»

Security Experts Skeptic About ICANN's Recommendations on Fast-Flux Hosting

While generally lauding ICANN's effort, experts say that more is needed to address the use of fast-flux hosting by bot herders to rapidly shift their malicious web servers and domain-name servers from machine to machine to evade detection. "People are being impacted because they are trying to shoehorn a solution that doesn't fit the problem. Where fast-flux causes a problem is when you are trying to police the internet through some outdated mode like honeypotting or blacklisting. That just doesn't work in this environment," says one security researcher. more»

U.S. Missing on IPv6, Other Countries Seeing Better Performance and Security

Despite being given nearly three years to make the change, many government agencies won't be ready on June 30 as mandated. And private businesses in the U.S. have barely given IPv6 any thought at all. That may all change soon, as the IPv6-experienced government agencies show others the way -- and as American businesses realize they may pay a price for falling behind the rest of the world on the road to IPv6. U.S. companies risk losing the competitive edge that IPv6-based applications could provide their foreign competitors... more»

Groups Insist ICANN Must Maintain Ties with U.S. Department of Commerce after 2009 Expiration Date

ICANN has suggested it should become independent of U.S. Department of Commerce oversight when the current Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the agency expires in September 2009. However, some people have suggested the JPA should remain in place to provide accountability. Those include, Thomas Lenard, president and senior fellow at the conservative think tank iGrowGlobal, who has filed a comment with NTIA saying: "The fact that ICANN may be making progress toward meeting its responsibilities does not imply that the JPA is no longer needed..."

CNN Interview with Chinese Hackers: "No Website is Safe"

CNN is reporting on a secret meeting with three Chinese hackers operating from a bare apartment on a Chinese island -- from the report: "They are intelligent 20-somethings who seem harmless. But they are hard-core hackers who claim to have gained access to the world's most sensitive sites, including the Pentagon. In fact, they say they are sometimes paid secretly by the Chinese government -- a claim the Beijing government denies." According to the leader of the group (nicknamed Xiao Chen), "no website is one hundred percent safe. There are Web sites with high-level security, but there is always a weakness." more»

33 Million Domain Names Registered in 2007, Total Domains Now Over 153 Million

The March 2008 Domain Name Industry Brief released by VeriSign reports that "the Domain Name Industry closed 2007 with more than 153 million domain name registrations worldwide across all of the Top-Level Domain Names (TLDs), an increase of nearly 33 million domain name registrations since the close of 2006." A summary of the report follows... more»

Security Researchers Reveal New Detection Method for Finding Phishing and Malicious Domains

At a closed-door security summit hosted on Yahoo's Sunnyvale campus last week, a researcher demonstrated a new technique to more easily identify phishing and other malicious Websites. Dan Hubbard, vice president of security research for Websense, showed a tool their researchers have built that detects domains that were automatically registered by machines rather than humans... The tool is reported to have 99.9% rate of accuracy, and that automatically generated domains to date represent over 1 percent of the nearly 1 million domains registered each day -- and rising. more»

Telcos Must Become Major Destination Websites, Says Sun Chairman

Telecommunication companies need to go beyond just providing bandwidth and look into acquiring Internet destination sites that are heavily trafficked, Sun Chairman Scott McNealy said on Friday. "I have explained to every telco that either you become a destination site, or the destination site will become a telco," McNealy said at a news conference at Sun's Worldwide Education and Research Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday... more»

First Rumored Last September, Google Will Buy Into Multi-Terabit Undersea Cable

Having outgrown the capacity of telecom companies to provide bandwidth for its online applications and services, Google is buying part of an undersea cable to carry data to and from Asia. As rumored last year, Google has now announced that it would join with five other telecom companies -- Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet, and SingTel -- to invest $300 million in the construction of a 10,000 km submarine cable. more»

Federal Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Network Solutions and ICANN

A Los Angeles firm today announced a federal class action lawsuit against Network Solutions (NSI) and ICANN over the NSI's practice of locking up domain names as soon as they are searched for on its website, which means the party searching can buy the name only from Network Solutions. more»

Cybersquatting Rose 33 Per Cent Over 2007

According to recent reports, cybersquatting continued to be the most prevalent form of online brand abuse after a 33 per cent jump in the past year. The latest Brandjacking Index from MarkMonitor found significant drops in domain kiting and related pay-per-click fraud. This trend is attributed to aggressive legal actions by brand holders as well as increased scrutiny by domain name oversight agency, ICANN. However, phishing techniques and targets continued to evolve in 2007, and the report highlighted a 533 per cent increase in phishing attacks against the retail and services sector. more»

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