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Reverse WHOIS: A Powerful Process in Cybersecurity

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

WHOIS History API: Powering Domain Investigations

Blogs

Brand Protection Beyond the "Whack-a-Mole" Approach

I recently shared at a conference how a seasoned brand and fraud expert from one of the world's largest global financial institutions lamented a major attack where multiple fraudulent websites would pop up every single day. All attacks were launched from the same registrar and web hosting company, and no matter how much they reached out to these providers, they received the same reply: "we will pass on your request to the registrant or site owner," and then nothing happened. more

More Warning Shots for ICANN, or the End of the Road?

Last fall, I wrote about ICANN's failed effort to achieve its goal of preserving the Whois domain name registration directory to the fullest extent possible. I predicted that if the policy effort failed, governments would take up the legislative pen in order to fulfill the long-ignored needs of those combating domain name system harms. That forecast has now come true through significant regulatory actions in the United States and the European Union in the form of a proposed directive from the European Commission (EC) and instruction from the US Congress to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). more

.com Is A Clear and Present Danger to Online Safety

"The Internet is the real world now." This assessment was offered by Protocol, a technology industry news site, following the very real violence on Capitol Hill during the counting of the electoral college votes that officially determines the next president of the United States. The media outlet went on to say that, "[t]he only difference is, you can do more things and reach more people online -- with truth and with lies -- than you can in the real world." more

What Are the Connected Assets of Confirmed Fake FBI Domains?

Two months ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alerted the public to a list of domains that could easily be mistaken to be part of its network. The list of artifacts contained a total of 92 domain names, 78 of which led to potentially malicious websites, while the remaining 14 have yet to be activated or are no longer active as of 23 November 2020. more

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

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

Enriching Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems with IP and Domain Intelligence

Intrusion detection systems (IDSs) and intrusion prevention systems (IPSs), collectively called "intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPSs)," monitor network traffic to stave off unauthorized access. Roughly speaking, an IDS detects possible malicious network activities, while an IPS stops malicious traffic from entering and possibly damaging a network. more

Threat Intel Expansion on Cosmic Lynx BEC Campaign's Recorded IoCs

Why go after individuals when you can get greater rewards by zooming in on more lucrative targets like large multinational corporations (MNCs)? That's the premise behind the Cosmic Lynx business email compromise (BEC) campaign that brought several MNCs, many of which were Fortune 500 or Global 2000 companies, to their knees. more

QAnon and 8Chan Digital Footprint Analysis and Investigation Expansion

In October, Brian Krebs reported that several websites related to 8Chan and QAnon went offline, albeit only briefly. That happened when the entity protecting them from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, CNServers LLC, terminated its service to hundreds of Spartan Host IP addresses... more

Attack Surface Discovery: A Review of FINRA-lookalike Domain and Linked IoCs

More recently, phishers used a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) look-alike domain in an attempt to breach several of its members' networks. Tasked to oversee 624,000 brokers in the U.S., attacking FINRA's clientele could yield a hefty sum should phishing email recipients fall for the ruse. more

A Brief OSINT Analysis of Charming Kitten IoCs

Charming Kitten is a cybercriminal group believed to be of Iranian origin, which was first seen in 2014, but had been active for years after the initial detection. The group use an intricate web of methods such as spear phishing and impersonation. more

Revisiting APT1 IoCs with DNS and Subdomain Intelligence

Cyber espionage is a type of cyber attack that aims to steal sensitive and often classified information to gain an advantage over a company or government. The 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) revealed that several hundreds of incidents across industries in the previous year were motivated by espionage. more

Dark Caracal: Undisclosed Targeted Attack IoCs Can Pose Risks

Targeted attacks are known as some of the most destructive cyber attacks in that they zoom in on organizations that either provide critical services or have massive user bases. more

Industry Updates

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