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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

Whois / Most Commented

EDUCAUSE Prepares Mass Purge of .EDU Domains

EDUCAUSE, the exclusive registry operator and registrar of .edu domain names under a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is preparing a mass purge of .edu domain names. The organization says it is part of the final phase in a year long project to improve the accuracy of the WHOIS database for the .edu space. more

The Value of Trust in 2007

Applications and devices like cell phones, email, search engines, and automated programs handle the error messages differently; it would be naive for VeriSign to think only humans with browsers rely on DNS. When a user enters a non-exist domain name on their cell phone the DNS error message would prevent downloading. Now cell phones download VeriSign's SiteFinder webpage and Service Providers bill the cell phone user for that extra usage. SPAM prevention programs also rely on this error message to check to see if the domain is real. more

ICANN Can't Take Care of Everything

Bruce Young tells a story of an Internet user who gets into trouble because "his" domain name was registered in the name of a web hosting provider that went bankrupt later on...As far as registrars are concerned, ICANN is currently doing its homework on domain name portability. As far as web hosting companies are concerned, though, these suggestions only look appealing at first sight. Upon closer inspection, they wouldn't be good policy... more

A Voting System for Internet by Domain Name Owners - Part I

This is the first part of a 2-part series article describing a method for voting among owners of domain names.

The primary intended use for this is to allow identifiable participants in the domain name system to vote on matters that affect the whole domain name system in an easy (and easily-verifiable) fashion. The method for voting is specifying a string in the whois data for a domain name. more

Al's Story: Another Small Domain Holder Falls Victim to Flawed ICANN Policy

Al Bode is typical of the many small, individual domain name holders throughout the United States and the world. He is a high school teacher of the Spanish language, not a techie, and he registered the domain IOWAWLA.ORG to provide an online presence for the Iowa World Language Association, a professional association for foreign-language educators in the US State of Iowa, of which he is a member. This domain could in no way be considered a commercial venture. In his own words, "I am a school teacher from Iowa whose websites are personally funded for the express purpose of education. There is no profit motive or even profit other than the knowledge that others may gain from my website." more

U.S. Senate's Hearing on ICANN

Later today, Senator Conrad Burns, who chairs the U.S. Senate subcommittee responsible for supervising ICANN, will be holding a hearing on a number of issues.

At the beginning of the year, a press release called "Burns Unveils NexGenTen Agenda For Communications Reform and Security in the 21st Century", had reported:

"U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) announced his top priorities for his chairmanship of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the 108th legislative session. The ten items, called the Burns NexGenTen Tech Agenda, aim to strengthen security and usher reform for 21st Century Communication... more

ICANN Workshop Displays Diverging Perspectives on WHOIS

At a workshop held in late June in Montreal (Canada) -- Karl Auerbach had submitted some live coverage to CircleID --, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had an in-depth look at various aspects of the Internet's WHOIS databases. These databases associate social information (like holders' names and contact information) with network identifiers, such as IP addresses and domain names. Current policy for these databases -- in particular in the generic top level domain area -- is part of ICANN's contracts with domain name retailers ("registrars") and database operators ("registries"), and permits for use of the data by arbitrary parties for arbitrary purposes. more

ICANN Approves At-Large Framework for Latin America

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently launched organizing of the individual Internet user community (At-Large) for increasing global participation and representation in ICANN. Under a framework approved by ICANN's Board of Directors, local and regional groups may now form in Latin America to involve their members in critical issues that effect their use of the Internet's domain name system. more

ICANN Reaches Landmark Agreement With Country Domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) concluded its Montreal meeting with a landmark agreement that cements the relationship between ICANN and the worldwide community of country-code top-level domain registries. "Today's agreement represents both a historic achievement for the ICANN process, and a powerful vote of confidence in the newly reformed ICANN 2.0," said Paul Twomey, ICANN's president and CEO.

Finalizing four years of dialogue and negotiation, the creation of the Country-Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) heralds a new era of cooperative and productive relations among ICANN and the country-code domain registries. The structure and rules for ICANN's new ccNSO were endorsed by domain registry organizations and individual managers representing every region and populated continent. "Today's agreement is a testament to how ICANN is seen as a forum the international Top Level Domain administrators can come together and jointly address issues," said Twomey. more

ICANN Montreal: Real-Time Thoughts During the WHOIS Meeting - 2nd Session

John LoGalbo - a "law enforcement" type - is complaining how long it takes him to issue a subpoena. My thought is this: Why should our privacy suffer because his organization can't get its procedural act together?

I am incensed - he is simply stating a conclusion that his targets are "criminals" and that, to go after them, he wants to throw away all legal processes and procedures - so much for the fourth, fifth, sixth, and fourteenth amendments. more

ICANN Montreal: Real-Time Thoughts During the WHOIS Meeting - 1st Session

I'm going to try something new here. I'm sitting here at the ICANN meeting on whois and I'll try to jot down some of my thoughts as they occur to me in reaction to what is being said:

- What is the "purpose" of whois? When a person acquires a domain name he/she has a decision to make: whether he/she will give the vendor/registrar his/her personal information? (If not, the person might have to forego getting the name, but that's his/her choice.) It seems that that is the context in which we need to evaluate the "purpose" of whois. In other words, the person relinquishes the information for the purpose of acquiring a domain name and not the broad panopoly of uses that have grown around whois. more

Montreal ICANN Meetings Creating Some Irritations

Two controversial issues which were on the agenda of the Montreal ICANN meetings creating some irritation: the way of planning to create a country code support organization (ccNSO), and the discussions around the purpose and operation of WHOIS – the database of registrants of domains. Without going into the history of the ccTLDs withdrawing from their former role within the DNSO and moving towards a self organized structure, there is an obvious conflict revolving around the term... more

Brownian Motion And ICANN's Latest Status Report To The United States

Brownian motion is the ceaseless random movement of particles suspended in a warm fluid. The particles move because they are buffeted by random collisions with molecules and atoms speeding this way and that under the impetus of heat. The greater the heat, the greater the motion. But no matter how much motion and how much heat, Brownian motion brings no progress.

Today I learned from Bret Fausett's ICANN Blog that ICANN has just published its Sixth Status Report Under ICANN/US Government Memorandum of Understanding, dated March 31, 2003. This report is subtitled "Report by ICANN to United States Department of Commerce Re: Progress Toward Objectives of Memorandum of Understanding" (emphasis added.) more

With No Privacy Standards Who Knows Who Is Abusing The Whois Database

John Banks is a loan officer in New York. John's supervisor recently warned John about the potential number of bad loans he may be carrying as part of his portfolio. To dump some of the bad loans he might be carrying, John came up with a scheme. He pointed his web browser to www.whois.org and entered terms denoting disease or poor health such as 'cancer' and 'illness'. This query on the Internet's WHOIS database reported results of names and addresses of domain name owners who had developed websites devoted to providing information on certain serious illnesses. John compared these names and addresses with those in his portfolio of loans. For the matches, he canceled the loans and required immediate payment-in-full. more

Time For ICANN/IANA To Squarely Face The Question Of Privacy

Various people whose judgment I value [M. Mueller, B. Fausett] have suggested that ICANN/IANA may finally get to the issue of privacy.

The ICANN Board is establishing a "President's Standing Committee on Privacy" (why the committee is possessed by ICANN's "president" and not the Board is something we can deal with at another time and another place.)

Privacy is a hard question. It is a matter that pervades all aspects of information handling. It would be entirely inappropriate, and ultimately futile, to try to deal with privacy as an after-the-fact adjustment to the existing DNS Whois system. It is necessary to examine the most fundamental questions -- such as what reasons, if any, justify there being a Whois database at all. 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