/ Most Commented

Taking Back the DNS

Most new domain names are malicious. I am stunned by the simplicity and truth of that observation. Every day lots of new names are added to the global DNS, and most of them belong to scammers, spammers, e-criminals, and speculators. The DNS industry has a lot of highly capable and competitive registrars and registries who have made it possible to reserve or create a new name in just seconds, and to create millions of them per day. Domains are cheap, domains are plentiful, and as a result most of them are dreck or worse. more»

ICANN Uses For-Profit Companies as "Comparables" in Its Employee Compensation

According to page 123 of ICANN's annual report: "...Commitment to continued payment in the salary span of 50th to 75th percentile of for-profit market place of companies of a similar size and complexity to ICANN..." Note that the comparables have been "for-profit". This is obviously ridiculous, given the purported non-profit nature of ICANN, with its inherent job security... more»

Domain Tasting Target of US Federal Cybersquatting Lawsuit

So Domain Tasting, where registrants (who may also be registrars) taste names and keep only those that have economic value, is now the target of a federal cybersquatting lawsuit, brought about by lawyers for major brand name retailers Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman against major domain name registrar Dotster. This Dotster lawsuit involves allegations of cybersquatting by registrars who use the Create Grace Period, which is mandated by ICANN for global registries... more»

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

In our continuing review of Rogue Registrars we have stumbled upon on a very elaborate fake banking site for "Swiss Bank" or "Bank of Switzerland". To the casual Internet consumer this site probably appears legitimate, but a number of clues tip off the fraud. Phishing sites are everywhere so this does not immediately raise eyebrows until you review the Thick WHOIS record for the domain. more»

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid

Since November of last year we have been discussing the problem of illicit and illegal online pharmacy support by ICANN-accredited Registrars. In several articles and direct contact with the Registrars we have tirelessly tried to convey the seriousness of this problem, many listened, some did not... With the background information already known, the case presented here is much more specific and concerns EvaPharmacy, which was until recently, the world's largest online criminal pharmacy network. more»

ICANN Blows $4.6 Million In Stock Market

If you visit the new dashboard on ICANN's web site, you see some nice bar charts, including one rather large negative number of $4,462,000. If you click the little arrow at the top of the Financial Performance chart, a footnote window pops open where the last sentence is: "The large variance to budget is due to investment losses of $4.6 mil." Investment losses? Yup, ICANN's been speculating in the stock market... more»

Squeegee Domains

When I was growing up, one of the annoyances of life in New York City was squeegee men. When your car was stopped at a light, these guys would run up, make a few swipes at your windshield with a squeegee, then look menacing until you gave them a tip. It occurs to me that domain "monetizers'' are the Internet's squeegee men. If I make a minor typing error entering a domain name, they run up and offer to sell a link to the place I wanted to go (well, they sell the place I wanted to go a click from me, but close enough.) more»

Ask Vint Cerf: The Road Ahead for Top-Level Domains

As most readers are no doubt aware, when it comes to the topic of Top-Level Domains (TLDs), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) takes center stage. Vint Cerf, Google's VP and Chief Internet Evangelist, who has served as chairman of the board of ICANN since the November of 1999 has accepted CircleID's invitation to directly respond to your questions on the topic. This is your opportunity to have your Top-Level Domain related questions responded by Vint Cerf. more»

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

We have just returned from the Brussels, Belgium ICANN meeting where we released our Registrar audit, the Internet "Doomsday Book." There are many topics covered in the report, but we wanted to follow up specifically on the issue of WHOIS access and add data to our previous column Who Is Blocking WHOIS? which covered Registrar denial of their contracted obligation to support Port 43 WHOIS access. more»

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more»

Not a Guessing Game

On Tuesday July 8, CERT/CC published advisory #800113 referring to a DNS cache poisoning vulnerability discovered by Dan Kaminsky that will be fully disclosed on August 7 at the Black Hat conference. While the long term fix for this attack and all attacks like it is Secure DNS, we know we can't get the root zone signed, or the .COM zone signed, or the registrar / registry system to carry zone keys, soon enough. So, as a temporary workaround, the affected vendors are recommending that Dan Bernstein's UDP port randomization technique be universally deployed. Reactions have been mixed, but overall, negative. As the coordinator of the combined vendor response, I've heard plenty of complaints, and I've watched as Dan Kaminsky has been called an idiot for how he managed the disclosure. Let me try to respond a little here, without verging into taking any of this personally... more»

On Mandated Content Blocking in the Domain Name System

COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act) is a legislative bill introduced in the United States Senate during 2010 that has been the topic of considerable debate. After my name was mentioned during some testimony before a Senate committee last year I dug into the details and I am alarmed. I wrote recently about interactions between DNS blocking and Secure DNS and in this article I will expand on the reasons why COICA as proposed last year should not be pursued further in any similar form. more»

Is the ICANN New gTLD Program a Draft for a V2 of the Internet?

A week ago I was discussing the alternative of a European Internet root with an ex-ICANN Board member. The idea that I like to develop in these discussions is to offer end-users a modern and cheaper naming system. Note that it does not mean that the ICANN root is a bad one, it means that a new and upgraded one could cohabit with the existing one. One will wonder what this article has to do with new gTLDs but considering the creation of an Internet "version 2", offers website and brand owners many advantages. more»

An Authenticated Internet

Discussions around DNSSEC are so often focused on the root, the attacks, what DNSSEC does and doesn't do and so on -- and these are all valid and important points. But there is far less attention focused on the opportunities that will surface from an authenticated internet. ...DNSSEC is becoming more of a reality now -- rather than a technical discussion which has been stuck in the mud for 15 years. We can now begin to think about new opportunities to build from a secure DNS, opportunities that build on the certainty that you have arrived at the correct website. Today, you can't be sure. more»

Nation of Cameroon Typo-Squats the Entire .com Space

The .cm (Cameroon) ccTLD operators have discovered that since their TLD is simply one omitted letter away from .com, that there is a gold mine in the typo traffic that comes their way. Accordingly, Cameroon has now wild-carded its ccTLD and is monetizing the traffic. The upshot is that, if the Neiman Marcus / Dotster lawsuit over 27 domain names was properly characterized as "massive", then the Cameroonians are now going well beyond massive... more»

Industry Updates

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 330.6 Million, 1.3 Million Growth in First Quarter of 2017

.TECH Gets Its Big Hollywood Break

Verisign Named to the Online Trust Alliance's 2017 Audit and Honor Roll

Why the Record Number of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking UDRP Filings in 2016?

Attacks Decrease by 23 Precent in 1st Quarter While Peak Attack Sizes Increase: DDoS Trends Report

UDRP: Better Late than Never - ICA Applauds WIPO for Removing Misguided 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

Major Media Websites Lose Audience Due to Slow Load Times on Mobile

The Rise and Fall of the UDRP Theory of 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

.PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day for 3rd Consecutive Year

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

DeviceAtlas Wins 2017 IHS Markit Innovation Award

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016