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Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Botnet Takedowns (July 15, 2014)

The background is of course quite interesting, given how soon it has followed Microsoft's seizure of several domains belonging to Dynamic DNS provider no-ip.com for alleged complicity in hosting trojan RAT gangs, a couple of days after which the domains were subsequently returned -- without public comment -- to Vitalwerks, the operator of No-IP. This is by no means a new tactic for Microsoft, who has carried out successful seizures of various domains over the past two or three years. more»

Microsoft's Takedown of 3322.org - A Gigantic Self Goal?

I will first begin this post by emphasizing that this article is entirely my personal viewpoint and not to be considered as endorsed by or a viewpoint of my employer or any other organization that I am affiliated with. Neither is this to be considered an indictment of the sterling work (which I personally value very highly) that several people in Microsoft are doing against cybercrime. Microsoft's takedown of 3322.org to disrupt the Nitol botnet is partial and will, at best, have a temporary effect on the botnet itself... more»

Does gTLD Registration Volume Measure Success?

For some time, the measure of success of a TLD was volume of registrations, or strictly speaking, Domains Under Management (DUMs). Who better than .com to validate the truth of that metric? More recently, this same metric has been applied to new gTLDs, especially those who achieve volume quickly, by whatever means necessary. These gTLDs are fawned over, written about, and effectively set up as the standard for other gTLDs to aspire to. But I'd like to challenge that notion. more»

Dear Industry Canada, Is Now a Good Time to Replace CIRA?

Today we have sent following to the Minister of Industry Canada, James Moore, as well as the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Board of Directors. This is in response to the revelation that CIRA is positioning to enter the managed DNS space. As we outline in the letter, we are fine with more competition (in fact Google just entered the domain and DNS space too... No, competition is a fact of life, what we want is more of it, not less. Here's what we wrote to The Honourable James Moore. more»

Is Your New TLD Protected Against Phishing and Malware?

Until now, the criminals behind malware and phishing have had only 22 generic top-level domain names (TLDs) to abuse -- names like .com, .net or .org. But with hundreds of new TLDs entering the marketplace, e.g. .buzz, .email, and .shop, there are many more targets than ever... What can attackers do with domain names? more»

New gTLDs Race to the Bottom With Domain Giveaways?

The new .BERLIN domain added 67,000 new registrations early this week and another almost 6,000 yesterday. This occurred after a few registrars ran a promotion offering free .BERLIN domains. As reported at DomainIncite, over a 1/3 of these domains were purchased by one registrant - making them the largest "landowner" in .BERLIN. Giving away domains may be a good short term business practice... But the geographical domains are not supposed to be generic... more»

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 is MIA on .XYZ

By now anyone who's part of the domain investment or broader ICANN community is aware of the curious saga of the recently launched .XYZ registry. Soon after its young CEO boldly stated, "we hope to reach 1 million .XYZ registrations in the first year and 5 million registrations in the first three years", the registry launched with a remarkable total of nearly 18,000 registrations on its first day, a total that has quickly grown to more than 100,000. But it was soon noted that "the zone files showed that over 70% of all .XYZ registrations had been made at NetworkSolutions... more»

How to Turn a Closed Generic gTLD Into a Restricted One

As the New gTLD Program has rolled out over the course of the past few years, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has made a number of program changes along the way. One of these changes disallows closed, generic gTLD applications, such as Amazon's application for .BOOK. Now, applicants for closed generics must decide how to proceed: whether to open their generic strings to the public, limit registrations to a defined portion of the public, withdraw the application, or sell it. more»

Antony Van Couvering Interviews Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos (Video)

Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines, continues his series of in-depth talks with leading figures from the domain name industry with this video interview of Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos, filmed recently at ICANN 49 in Singapore. Alexa and Antony discuss how brands are dealing with new gTLD, registry strategies for success and how to market a new gTLD. more»

ICANN's Uniform Rapid Suspension: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

With so many new gTLDs moving into their respective general availability periods, and incidents of cybersquatting beginning to appear, many companies are now looking towards the URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension) as a possible solution for quickly remediating abuse. As a reminder, domains that are the subject of a successful URS ruling are suspended for the remainder of the registration term, or can be renewed for an additional year at the current registrar. more»

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants and… (Part Four: Donuts)

Donuts is an applicant that threw the entire domain name industry into uproar due to the number of applications it submitted: 307 in total. It is hardly surprising that whenever new gTLDs are mentioned in the media that Donuts are mentioned alongside due to shear number of applications that they have submitted. There are dozens of articles in the media mixing information and opinions about Donuts. Often, they address the benefits to those registrants who are excited about the possibility of acquiring a new domain name and the threats to those who have an existing .COM domain name portfolio. more»

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants and… (Part Three: Minds + Machines)

Minds + Machines was the first "new gTLD portfolio applicant" I spotted early in 2008, when .PARIS started being mentioned. Then came a few other projects like .HORSE and later .VODKA. Being French, my vision of good new gTLD suffixes may be slightly different to those native English speakers. Therefore, I favour some TLDs such as .SURF and .ART over some clearly English terms others such as .HORSE. more»

6 Domain Name Industry Developments to Lookout for in 2014

2013 was one of the most exciting and forward-looking year for our Industry, and here we are, right at the beginning of 2014. Shall we look into the crystal ball and see what the horizon up ahead likely holds for us? We hope and foresee that a lot of everyone's hard work will eventually begin to pay off this year. We also believe that the industry will witness a huge change; opportunities and possibilities that were never before thought of. more»

"ICANN Urged to Rule on .LLP 'Breach'"

There is probably no worldwide community without at least one member located in the US. But does this qualify the closing of a community to only US based members and, by extension, to exclude all other eligible entities from around the world solely because of arbitrary geographical circumstances based upon company whims? more»