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Holiday Shoppers Beware: Tips on Protecting Brand Owners and Consumers from Domain Security Threats

With the COVID-19 pandemic persisting, online shopping will be the preferred method for the 2020 holiday shopping season. While staying home to shop is the safest option right now, it means consumers are more vulnerable to online fraud, counterfeits, and cyber crime. Increased online activity provides opportunities for unscrupulous infringers to abuse trusted brand names to drive visitors to their own fraudulent content. more

Speculating in Domain Names: Pricing War(e)s

Speculation in one form of another has an ancient and honorable history. It not only creates entrepreneurial activity but fuels markets for selling wares and offering services, but also generates competition for consumers and wars over loyalty. The commercialization of the Internet in the 1990s, which extended market activity into virtual (cyber) space, has many of the virtues of the actual but also its vices: cheating and fraud, and other skullduggery. more

An Investigative Analysis of the Silent Librarian IoCs

The Silent Librarian advanced persistent threat (APT) actors have been detected once again, as the academic year started in September. With online classes increasingly becoming the norm, the group's phishing campaigns that aim to steal research data and intellectual property could have a high success rate. Dozens of phishing domain names have been reported, although some may have already been taken down. more

Brand Abuse and IP Infringements – Part 2: Enforcement and Return on Investment

In the first article in this two-part series, we looked at the impact of brand abuse and infringements against intellectual property (IP) on an organization's brand value. In this second article, we delve into how action against enforceable infringements can deliver tangible return on investment (ROI) for a brand, and demonstrate the importance of a robust brand protection program. more

Brand Abuse and IP Infringements – Part 1: Brand Impact

In this two-part blog series, we take a closer look at brand abuse and intellectual property (IP) infringements. In this first article, we explore the components making up a company's IP and how online content can affect a brand's value, both actual and perceived... The IP held by an organization -- i.e., the portfolio of brands, trademarks, and other intangible assets that provide it with its distinctiveness, and protect it from unfair competition in the marketplace... more

A Brief Look at the Domain Attack Surface of Streaming Media Companies

The term "attack surface" is often heard in cybersecurity conversations. It refers to the sum of all possible attack vectors or the vulnerabilities that threat actors can exploit to penetrate a target network or damage an organization somehow. An unused and forgotten subdomain, for instance, can become an attack vector when taken over. Certain categories of companies have very large attack surfaces. Such is the case of streaming media businesses like Netflix and HBO Max. more

US Election-Related Web Properties Prone to Fraud and Misinformation Due to Lack of Domain Security

The risks of fraud and disinformation in the U.S. election process have been hiding in plain sight. CSC's new research finds that a large majority of web domains closely linked to the campaign websites for Joe Biden and Donald Trump lack basic domain security protocols and are prone to domain spoofing tactics. This makes them a potential target for hackers looking to spread disinformation ahead of the election, and criminals who want to take advantage of voter intentions... more

Innovation, Launches and Email: New gTLDs Deliver in Q3 2020

As the third quarter of 2020 winds down, the domain industry continues to show development and progression amid uncertain global economic conditions. From improvements in products and additional TLD launches to growth in .brand email usage and upcoming virtual meetings, the Q3 2020: New gTLD Quarterly Report from our MarkMonitor team has a little something for everyone. more

"Objective" and "Objectivity" in UDRP Decision Making

No one will disagree that disputes before arbitral tribunals and courts should be determined on the merits. I have noticed that some Panels appointed under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) have employed the words "objective" and "objectively" in their recent decisions. In pondering these linguistic choices, it seems to me that there are two possible reasons for their use; the first is more acceptable than the second. more

The Suitable Defendant Rule: In Rem Jurisdiction under the ACPA

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) creates two distinct avenues by which mark owners may seek a remedy for cybersquatting. A person who is a suitable defendant under 15 U.S.C. §1125(d)(1)(A) is one over whom the court has in personam jurisdiction. However, if the mark owner is "not able to obtain in personam jurisdiction over a person who would have been a defendant" in the ACPA action, then "[t]he [mark] owner may file an in rem civil action against a domain name in... more

Only Bad Actors Should Worry About the URS

With DNS abuse a topic of increased concern throughout the community, any controversy over adopting the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) for all generic top-level domains (gTLDs) seems misplaced. The URS was designed as a narrow supplement to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), applicable only in certain tightly defined circumstances of clear-cut and incontrovertible trademark infringement involving the registration and use of a domain name. more

How Will the New .AU Domain Licensing Rules Impact You?

The .AU Domain Administration (auDA) will soon implement new .AU domain administration licensing rules either late this year or early next year. These rules apply to new registrations and around 3 million existing domain names in the com.au, net.au, org.au, and more .AU namespaces... Previously, an Australian trademark application or registration may constitute the required Australian presence for an .AU domain name, but the domain name need not match the trademark. more

UDRP and the Law: Should Cybersquatting be the Default View?

I have returned to the subject of the title on a number of occasions and it is worth revisiting. Like judicial proceedings, the substance of disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and Panel determinations are publicly available. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) mandates in its Rules that all decisions must be delivered to the parties within "three business days" of their receipt of the decision and posted on providers' websites. more

Uniform Rapid Suspension Not Appropriate for .com Domain Names

The Internet Commerce Association has been actively involved for the last four years on the ICANN Working Group reviewing the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Working Group is currently wrapping up its review of the URS. The UDRP will be reviewed in an upcoming second phase. more

How Digital Asset Management May Change Due to COVID-19

One of the "fathers of the internet," Vint Cerf, in a September 2019 article he published, said: "Today, hackers routinely break into online accounts and divert users to fake or compromised websites. We constantly need to create new security measures to address them. To date, much of the internet security innovation we've seen revolves around verifying and securing the identities of people and organizations online. more

News Briefs

WIPO Becomes First Non-Chinese Entity to Provide Domain Dispute Resolution Services for China's .cn

WIPO Reports Cybersquatting Cases Grew by 12% Reaching New Records in 2018

Amazon Gets the Green Light for .Amazon TLD Following Intense Negotiations Involving South America

Kodak Announces a Blockchain Platform Initiative for Image Rights Management

EFF Warns ICANN Not to Engage in Censorship, Says It Should Stick to Technical Role

Civil Society Groups Call for Deletion of Internet Filtering Provision in EU Copyright Proposal

EFF Cautions Against Unfair TLD Policies, Offers Advice on Choosing New gTLDs for Best Protection

Domain Registrations in New TLDs Overwhelmingly for Defensive Purposes, INTA Study

Cycling Legend Greg LeMond Sues Cybersquatters Upward of $6.6 Million

Feds Shut Down Largest File-Sharing Site KickassTorrents - Founder Arrested, Domains Seized

Thomson Reuters in Definitive Agreement to Sell Intellectual Property Unit Including MarkMonitor

UK Bill Ups Prison Term for Online Piracy from 2 to 10 Years

Internet Governance Forum USA 2016 on Thursday, July 14

ICANN Says It Will Not Get Directly Involved With Infringing Domains

WIPO Reports Rise in Cybersquatting Cases, Triggered by New gTLDs

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

Google Received 65.9 Million Take Down Requests Last Month, Company Reports

European Parliament Backs Resolution to Break Up Search Giant

US Should Take More Aggressive Counter-Measures On IP Theft, Including Use of Malware

Domain Seizures for Copyright Infringement Likely to Move Beyond U.S. Based Registries

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Brand Protection Updates – Sponsor

Rise in Domain Name Registrations Highlights the Need for Continued Vigilance

Increased domain name registrations are only part of the picture. As the number of legitimate domain name registrations increase, so to do those registered by criminals in bad faith. more

Shopping and the Pandemic: Increased Reliance on Mobile Apps 

Savvy retailers who expanded their offerings to include e-commerce app options have reaped the benefits of this forethought during the coronavirus outbreak. As the pandemic has driven more shoppers to buy online, retailers who offer e-commerce apps have seen dramatic increases in the number of sales, even as traditional shopping has dropped off precipitously. more

Internet and Mobile Exploitation of the Coronavirus

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

Retrospective: Post-GDPR Compliance Rates for Domain Enforcement

A success rate of one out of four might not seem like a reason to celebrate, but when it comes to registrar compliance rates, the current 25% rates that AppDetex clients enjoy is a substantial improvement from the single-digit compliance rates initially experienced immediately following the implementation of GDPR. more

Mobile Apps Take the Lead, Scammers Follow

Mobile commerce has just reached another landmark milestone. For the first time ever, mobile transactions made up almost $1 of every $3 spent online during the post-Thanksgiving 2019 shopping weekend. more

Industry Updates

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