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Domain Research and Monitoring: Keeping an Eye on the Web for You

WHOIS History API: Powering Domain Investigations

Reverse WHOIS: A Powerful Process in Cybersecurity

Blogs

Too Little, Too Late? Why ICANN's Proposed WHOIS Access System Isn't Worth It

After two years of grueling, complex and contentious debate, the ICANN EPDP team delivered its Phase 2 Final Report on July 31st, 2020. Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the policy recommended for the so-called "System for Standardized Access/Disclosure" (SSAD) fails to meet the needs of the users it supposedly is designed to benefit. more

The EPDP Passed an Important Milestone… Now What?

This isn't the blog post I had hoped to write. When I signed up to participate in ICANN's Expedited Policy Development Process for gTLD Registration Data, I knew we had a lot of work ahead of us, but I was cautiously optimistic that we would, eventually, reach a successful outcome. Today, I find myself looking at things differently. After hundreds of hours and countless meetings and emails, Phase 2 of the EPDP's work has wrapped up with the delivery of our final report to the GNSO Council. 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

9th Registration Operations Workshop (ROW), June 16th, 2020, Online

The Registration Operations Workshop (ROW) was conceived as an informal industry conference that would provide a forum for discussion of the technical aspects of registration operations in the domain name system and IP addressing. The 9th ROW will be held online on Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 at 13h00-16h00 UTC. more

ICANN Org's Multifaceted Response to DNS Abuse

While the March report from ICANN's Domain Abuse Activity Reporting system show a general reduction in second-level gTLD domain names identified as being used in phishing, malware distribution, and botnet command and control, it has been widely reported that criminals are taking advantage of the global COVID-19 pandemic by launching malicious online campaigns. There have also been numerous reports of spikes in the use of COVID-19-related domain names for DNS Abuse. 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

At the Crossroads: The State of Domain Registration Data Services

The Internet's users rely on domain name registration information for vital purposes, including providing security, problem-solving, and legal and social accountability. The data is so important that users perform more than two billion WHOIS queries every day. ICANN has instituted new data policies over the last two years, and is also directing a migration to a new technical protocol, RDAP, that will replace WHOIS access in the near future. So at this critical juncture, how is it all going? more

Consistency, Urgency, and Transparency Needed for Registrant Data Requests

As we reported in our Post-GDPR Compliance Rate retrospective in January 2020, registrar compliance rates in response to verified requests for redacted registrant information using the Appdetex WHOIS Requestor System was 25 percent. Our most recent report shows the compliance rate has increased to 27 percent, based upon a total of 243 requests for redacted WHOIS information sent to 68 registrars over the period starting January 1, 2020, through February 24, 2020. more

2019 Domain Name Year in Review

And so it goes, we are coming to the end of 2019, and that can mean only one thing. It's time for another Domain Name Year in Review. And unlike years past, this year was a real doozy. So without further ado, here are the domain name industry's top 10 biggest stories for 2019... To date, 48 leading registries and registrars have signed onto the "Framework to Address Abuse." The initiative was launched in November 2019, just prior to the ICANN meeting in Montreal. more

Why the EPDP is Essential for a Long-Term Solution for WHOIS

Major European legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation, evoked substantial change in the way we deal with the visibility of domain name registration information, and understandably those that use that data to solve problems are concerned about these changes, and some have even called for a U.S. legislative fix. However, a more in-depth look at the issue and the policy-making surrounding it will show that there is, in fact, a process already well underway to address the situation. more

If ICANN Won't Stand Up to EU in WHOIS Dispute, Then the U.S. Congress Should

The early designers of the Internet quickly realized that as the number of domain names flourished, there was a need for tracking domain name owners to resolve questions and conflicts that might arise. To that end, they created WHOIS, a public database with the names, phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses of registered domain owners and operators. more

More Privacy for Domain Registrants – Heightened Risk for Internet Users

A recent exchange on CircleID highlighted a critical need for data to inform the debate on the impact of ICANN's post-GDPR WHOIS policy that resulted in the redaction of domain name registrant contact data. A bit of background: in my original post, I made the point that domain name abuse had increased post-GDPR. A reader who works with a registrar (according to his bio) commented: "Can you back up that statement with data? Our abuse desk has actually seen a reduction in abuse complaints." more

Cybercriminals Benefitting from Stalled Privacy/Proxy Policy

We've seen alarmingly BIG increases in multiple abusive behaviors – like phishing, hacking and malware – that often leverage the domain name system (DNS) and privacy/proxy services. Cybercriminals capitalize on gaps in DNS security measures, and ICANN is holding the door open for them by failing to implement their privacy/proxy policy. If you are ever targeted, you are not alone. more

The End of the Road: ICANN, Whois, and Regulation

There's a well-documented crisis facing the domain name system: very few who rely on domain name registration data from the Whois database to perform vital functions can do so any longer, which is escalating consumer harm and abuse on the internet worldwide. And the problems, thanks to ICANN's overly restrictive policy post-GDPR and a failing policy process, are piling up. more

News Briefs

Trump Admin Ramping Up Attacks on GDPR – Says It Helps Cybercrime, Threatens Public Health

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission Wins Appeal in Lawsuit Against US DomainTools

Domain Registrars Given a Six-Month Deadline to Implement Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)

EU Should Not Be Setting US WHOIS and Privacy Policy, Says MPAA

Easy Access to ICANN, IP Address Data Beats Info on Encrypted Data, Says Telstra Cybersecurity Head

New Zealand's Domain Name Commission Wins Injunction in a Lawsuit Against DomainTools

Special Interests Circulating Draft Legislation to Cut Short ICANN's Whois Policy Process

Former ICANN Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz to be Named Chair of Whois Group

DomainTools Sued for Misusing New Zealand's .NZ Domain Name Registration Information

Anti-Phishing Working Group Proposes Use of Secure Hashing to Address GDPR-Whois Debacle

European Data Regulators Throw ICANN Back to the Drawing Board for a Third Time on Whois Privacy

ICANN Files Legal Action Against Domain Registrar for Refusal to Collect WHOIS Data

Domain Name Registrars Ask ICANN for a "Moratorium" on Its New GDPR Policy

A Short-Term Suspension of GDPR Enforcement on WHOIS May Be Necessary, Says U.S. Government

ICANN Releases Temporary WHOIS Specification Plan for GDPR Compliance With Deadline Two Weeks Away

ICANN CEO "Cautiously Optimistic" EU to Provide Clear Guidance for Domain Industry GDPR Compliance

ICANN's GDPR Compliance Model for Whois Unlikely to Be Implemented in Time for May 25 Deadline

Dutch Geographic TLDs Refuse Public Access to Whois Data

Thick Whois Policy for .COM Goes Live

U.S. Bypassing ICANN on Whois Privacy With Closed-Door Meeting in Paris

Most Viewed

North Dakota Judge Gets it Wrong

Network Solutions Responds to Front Running Accusations

Help! My Domain Name Has Been Hijacked!

Whois Privacy vs. Anonymity

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

Most Commented

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

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

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

WhoisXML API Updates – Sponsor

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

Domain generation algorithm (DGA) is used to generate several domain names commonly used for command-and-control (C&C) servers in malware attacks. The logic behind a domain name generation algorithm is quite simple. Instead of hard-coding the domain or IP address into the malware, the malware finds its C&C under a domain with a seemingly random name. more

Subdomain Lookup as Part of Cybersecurity Best Practices

Threat actors are always on the lookout for potential ways into target networks. And although the cybersecurity world has a lot on its radar already, subdomains are entry points that are not always easy to identify and may end up overlooked. more

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

Cyber attacks can come from practically any angle, and more often than not, it's hard to see them coming without knowing all there is to know about a domain's WHOIS history and connected domain entities. Several aspects come into play in this scenario, one of which is old and forgotten pages on a website. more

DNS Records Lookup of "Walmart Drive-In Movie Theater" Domains Indicates Likely Typosquatting

People may not yet be keen on going to movie theaters due to COVID-19. As such, drive-in movie theaters have become more prominent as these help implement social distancing measures. more

What a WHOIS Registrant Lookup Can Tell about "Kanye West" Newly Registered Domains

Kanye West trended after he announced his plan to run for U.S. president on 4 July 2020. On Twitter, his announcement was liked over 1.1 million times and retweeted more than 500,000 times. Elon Musk was also quick to express his support. more

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

Captain America arrived on Fortnite in time for the 4th of July celebration. This announcement was big news to the gaming community, with search terms such as "fortnite captain america skin" and "fortnite captain america" significantly rising in popularity on Google in the past week. more

Bulk Domain Lookup of 3,000+ NRDs with "Deal" Word Strings Appearing Days before July 4

The U.S. Independence Day comes with both fireworks and the best deals. On this holiday, retailers usually offer big discounts. At this time when people may opt to shop online, several publications like TechRadar and Business Insider even curated a list of 4th of July deals from different retailers. more

Industry Updates

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

DNS Records Lookup of "Walmart Drive-In Movie Theater" Domains Indicates Likely Typosquatting

What a WHOIS Registrant Lookup Can Tell about "Kanye West" Newly Registered Domains

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

Bulk Domain Lookup of 3,000+ NRDs with "Deal" Word Strings Appearing Days before July 4

Bulk WHOIS Lookup of Florida SMMC Lookalike Domains Shows Signs of Typosquatting

Hundreds of Election-Related Domain Names Seen as 2020 U.S. Elections Nears

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

Punycode Phishing: Internationalized Domain Names Remain a Threat in 2020

WhoisXML API Detects Hundreds of Microsoft-Inspired Typo Domains

Typosquatting Data Feed Can Enhance Lloyds Bank's Typosquatting Protection

60+ PayPal Potential Typosquatting Domains Detected in the Beginning of June

Typosquatting Domains Every AppleID Owner Should Avoid

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