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WHOIS History API: Powering Domain Investigations

Reverse WHOIS: A Powerful Process in Cybersecurity

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

Blogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thousands of Government-Related Subdomains Revealed in Subdomains Search

Elections and other events related to the government typically drive a great amount of Internet activity. Considering the domain name space, we found 4,197 subdomains related to the U.S. elections and the government in general. more

Attack Surface Analysis: Most Blacklisted IP Addresses Scrutinized

The attack surface of every Internet user gets wider every day, but it doesn't mean there's nothing that can be done about it. For one, analyzing possible attack vectors, such as suspicious or malicious domain names and IP addresses, can help with attack surface management. more

Attack Surface Analysis of 3 Social Media Giants

Cybercrime is first and foremost financially motivated. Cybercriminals look for lucrative targets, including social media networks with hundreds of millions of monthly active users. We put this perspective to the test by analyzing the domain attack surface of three of today's largest social media platforms. more

Third-Party Vendor Risk Management: A Look into Top Couriers' Digital Footprint

Just as no man is an island, no company can perform core functions without other organizations' help. This fact is highlighted in today's age of outsourcing, partnership, and third-party connections. Unfortunately, threat actors have also found a massive opportunity in these relationships. more

Attack Surface Reduction: Scrutiny of the Top Payment Processing Companies

Almost every transaction on the Internet is riddled with risks, and the use of online payment processing platforms is no exception. With more people opting to transact online and use digital wallets, threat actors have much to gain by targeting online payment processing platforms. more

Enriching IP Blacklists Using a Reverse IP/DNS Database

Every organization faces two kinds of cyber threats daily - "known" and "unknown" ones. Known threats are those that security experts have discovered, often published in blogs and major news outfits with accompanying indicators of compromise (IoCs). Unknown threats, meanwhile, are those that remain hidden to victims and researchers. IoCs for these have yet to be identified and disclosed. more

Beefing Up Third-Party Risk Management with Reverse DNS Search

Most businesses rely on third-party entities to outsource certain functions, save on costs, and strengthen their cybersecurity capabilities. While working with external providers makes perfect business sense, it also poses cyber risks. more

Industry Updates

Thousands of Government-Related Subdomains Revealed in Subdomains Search

Attack Surface Analysis: Most Blacklisted IP Addresses Scrutinized

Attack Surface Analysis of 3 Social Media Giants

Third-Party Vendor Risk Management: A Look into Top Couriers' Digital Footprint

Attack Surface Reduction: Scrutiny of the Top Payment Processing Companies

Enriching IP Blacklists Using a Reverse IP/DNS Database

Beefing Up Third-Party Risk Management with Reverse DNS Search

Strengthening Brand Protection with Subdomain Lookups: A Short Study

Not All VPN Users Are Worth Trusting, a Lesson for Cloud Service Providers

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

WHOIS History Footprint Tells Us More about the Man Behind the Biggest BLM Scam

100K+ List of Disposable Email Domains Under Security Analysis

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

Participants – Random Selection