DNS

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2020 Hindsight After 20 Years at ICANN

After two decades of involvement with ICANN, I am stepping down from the Board of Directors, where I served for nine years. I have spent considerable time of late reflecting on the past 20 years, and I have isolated some memories that help frame my time with ICANN. ... November 2000, ICANN07 in Marina del Rey, California - With only a scant idea of what ICANN is all about, I am warmly welcomed by the flag-wearing country code top-level domain (ccTLD) community, who come to ICANN to ensure that nothing happens to affect the independence of ccTLDs... more

Phishing 2020: A Concentrated Dose of Badness

How much phishing is there? Where is it occurring, and why? How can it be reduced? I and my colleagues at Interisle Consulting have just published a new study called Phishing Landscape 2020, designed to answer those questions. We assembled a deep set of data from four different, respected threat intelligence providers and enriched it with additional DNS data and investigation. The result is a look at phishing attacks that occurred in May through July 2020. more

The Whois Wars Go On

There is a lot of discussion about the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 report on evaluating a System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to non-public gTLD registration data after the decisions taken by the GNSO Council on September 24th. Notably, the Business Constituency (BC) and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) have voted against the adoption of the Final Report of the EPDP team. more

The Competition to Become the Next .eu TLD Registry Is Now Open

I am glad to announce that the European Commission has officially launched the process to select the next Registry for the .eu Top-Level Domain (TLD). This is done through a competitive procedure that will be concluded, by October 2021, with the signature of a service concession contract between the European Commission and the entity that will be entrusted with the organisation, administration and management of the .eu TLD. more

Scaling the Root of the DNS

The DNS is a remarkably simple system. You send it queries, and you get back answers. Within the system, you see exactly the same simplicity: The DNS resolver that receives your query may not know the answer, so it, in turn, will send queries deeper into the system and collects the answers. The query and response process is the same, applied recursively. Simple. However, the DNS is simple in the same way that Chess or Go are simple... more

A Failed Whois Policy

ICANN's two-year effort to purportedly preserve the Whois public directory to the greatest extent possible while complying with GDPR has failed. Under the latest proposal, the Whois database, once a contractually-required directory of domain name registrants, will be gutted to the point of virtual worthlessness, as registrars, registries, academics, and hand-wringing others ignored the public interest and imposed ever-higher barriers to legitimate, GDPR-compliant access to registration data. 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

Is There Such a Thing as Technical Internet Governance?

In ICANN's "President & CEO Goals for Fiscal Year 2021", Göran Marby went out to make a curious distinction in the document's second stated goal, according to which he intends to "Implement a common strategy for Internet governance (IG) and technical Internet governance (TIG)". Proceeding to state that "we will begin by identifying the most important issues we need to address, followed by an assessment of where and how we can intervene, the venues we should use, and the resources required to be effective". more

Why Platform Regulation Concerns ICANN

With the publication of the Australian Governmental report on Digital Platforms1and in the light of the ongoing work on the EU's Digital Services Act, the spotlight of policymaking is on platforms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. It is natural that members of the ICANN community want to discuss the role of platforms within the ICANN framework, but sadly and predictably, the usual bylaws jockeys and keepers of the true ICANN faith were quick to stifle the conversation. more

Afilias to Protect TLDs Against Potential "Orphan Glue" Exploits

Afilias has informed registrars and registry clients that it is taking steps to remove orphan glue records from 200+ TLD zones in its care. This will eliminate the potential for a handful of domain names to be misused. "Glue records" enable websites and other uses of domain names to work on the internet. They are related to DNS domain name delegations and are necessary to guide iterative resolvers to delegated nameservers. more

DNS: An Essential Component of Cloud Computing

The evolution of the internet is anchored in the phenomenon of new technologies replacing their older counterparts. But technology evolution can be just as much about building upon what is already in place, as it is about tearing down past innovations. Indeed, the emergence of cloud computing has been powered by extending an unlikely underlying component: the more than 30-year-old global Domain Name System (DNS). more

The State of DNS Abuse: Moving Backward, Not Forward

ICANN's founding promise and mandate are optimistic -- ensure a stable and secure internet that benefits the internet community as a whole. Recent months, however, have highlighted the uncomfortable truth that ICANN's and the industry's approach to DNS abuse is actually moving backward, ignoring growing problems, abdicating on important policy issues, and making excuses for not acting. Further, the impending failure of ICANN's new WHOIS policy to address cybersecurity concerns will add fuel to the fire, resulting in accelerating DNS abuse that harms internet users across the globe. more

Article 22 of the GDPR Should Not Preclude Contemplated Automation

There is an ongoing disagreement among various members and groups in the ICANN community regarding automation -- namely, whether and to what extent automation can be used to disclose registrant data in response to legitimate data disclosure requests. A major contributing factor to the complications around automation has been confusion about how to interpret and apply Article 22 of the GDPR. more

Reflections on the .ORG Domain Registry Sale

For all the many reasons raised by thousands of petitioners by prominent members of the U.S. Congress, and the California Attorney General's office, this "sale" plainly should not be occurring. However, in a very real way, it is déjà vu. For me, as one of the handful of people who were members of the original InterNIC public advisory committee which oversaw the spinout of the registry activity from its DARPA government instantiation to a private enterprise business... more

COVID-19, WHOIS, and the Pressing Need for Help With Domain Name System Abuse

As widely reported, and not surprising, the internet is swimming in COVID-19 online scams. Criminals, accustomed to rapidly grabbing online territory during times of crisis and profiting from public fear, are working overtime in the face of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, ICANN's failure to enforce its minimal WHOIS and DNS abuse requirements has resulted in delayed mitigation efforts at a time when swift responses are needed to protect the public from COVID-19 scams. more

Industry Updates

Enriching IP Blacklists Using a Reverse IP/DNS Database

CSC's Research on Election-Related Domains Aligns with Recent FBI and CISA Warning

Beefing Up Third-Party Risk Management with Reverse DNS Search

Gathering Context Around Emotet, Trickbot, and Dridex C&C Servers with Bulk IP Geolocation

Augmenting Digital Risk Protection with Threat Intelligence Sources

Threat Intelligence Feeds in the Fight against Insurance-Themed Cyber Attacks

The DNS Ecosystem, Its Vulnerabilities, and Threat Mitigations

100K+ List of Disposable Email Domains Under Security Analysis

Detecting Possible Domain Generation Algorithm-Related Threats Using Typosquatting Data Feed

Subdomain Lookup as Part of Cybersecurity Best Practices

Using WHOIS History and Other Intelligence Sources for Establishing Potential Attack Surfaces

Verisign Q2 2020 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 370.1 Million Domains in Q2 of 2020

Host to IP and DNS Analysis of Dozens of Fortnite-Inspired Typosquatting Domains

Upward Trend Seen in "All Lives Matter," "BLM," and "Protest" Domain Registrations

Domain Security Report – Forbes Global 2000 Companies