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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

Whois / Most Commented

ICANN Proposed Interim GDPR Compliance Model Would Kill Operational Transparency of the Internet

ICANN has consistently said its intention in complying with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to comply while at the same time maintaining access to the WHOIS domain name registration database "to greatest extent possible." On February 28, ICANN published its proposed model. Strangely, while ICANN acknowledges that some of the critical purposes for WHOIS include consumer protection, investigation of cybercrimes, mitigation of DNS abuse, and intellectual property protection, the model ICANN proposes provides no meaningful pathway to use WHOIS in those ways. more

WHOIS Review and Beyond 3.7.8

We have posted our support of the WHOIS Policy Review Team Report with two important comments. First, on page 79 of the report it is confirmed that the RAA is unenforceable on WHOIS inaccuracy (we wrote about this while at the last ICANN meeting) because the language of RAA 3.7.8 has no enforcement provision. It is now time for ICANN to confirm this problem officially.  more

IDNs and IE7 and the Coming Storm

If you're brave, today you can finally download the Internet Explorer 7 public beta. Why should you be interested? Not because the browser's wonderful. It isn't -- initial reports are that it's not ready for prime-time. But you might be interested to know that as of today, users of IE will be able to use internationalized domain names (IDNs). ...Many other browsers are already IDN-capable, including Firefox, but most people in the world use Explorer. Think China, Japan, India. Think most of the world's population... Think of millions of new Internet users working in their own language, customers for commercial goods and services. But think also about intellectual property nightmares, think about phishing, think about whether there's one interoperable Internet, or several Internets acting very weird. These issues and others will become big news when people start using IDNs massively -- and with support from Internet Explorer, that's about to happen. more

dotMP Goes Mobile, Limits Access to WHOIS Data

The fact that the market for mobile phones that provide Internet access (aka "smart phones") is predicted to increase during the next several years, with global shipments growing to an impressive nearly 125 million units in 2009, means the competition for bridging mobile content and mobile phone use is likely to be keen. Indeed, dotMP already must face competition for registry services that will target mobile phone users. A few of the biggest names in information technology and mobile communications -- led by Nokia and including Microsoft, Vodafone, HP, Orange, Samsung and Sun Microsystems are planning to wedge into the Top-level Domain name space (TLD) by supporting a new TLD registry for mobile web content focused on web pages built specifically for access by mobile devices like smart phones and handheld computers or Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)... what may set dotMP apart from the technology giants led by Nokia, is a significant value added benefit to its domain name registration services...it will protect the privacy of its registrants.  more

GDPR: Registries to Become Technical Administrators Only?

On 11 December 2017, about 25 participants from Europe and the US attended the public consultation for the brand new GDPR Domain Industry Playbook by eco (Association of the Internet Industry, based in Germany) at the representation of the German federal state Lower Saxony to the European Union in Brussels. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) poses a challenge for the Registries, Registrars, Resellers and ICANN. more

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

A Real-Names Domain Registration Policy Would Discourage Political Lying

I've discussed the role of the Internet in creating and propagating lies in a previous post, noting that Donald Trump lied more frequently than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders during the campaign. Now let's look at fake news like the claim that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump. The fake post features the following image and includes a "statement" by the Pope in which he explains his decision. 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

ICANN Board Approves 'Thick' Whois Requirement for .COM and .NET

The ICANN Board has approved the community recommendation that "the provision of Thick Whois services should become a requirement for all gTLD registries, both existing and future." We have long supported the migration from 'thin' to 'thick' Whois, which will improve both quality and ease of access to Whois data, thereby further facilitating intellectual property enforcement online. The ICANN community has debated the merits of migration from 'thin' to 'thick' Whois for years, as part of the larger Whois Review process. more

ICANN Gets Crazy… Again!

The same thing happens before every ICANN meeting. It starts raining. Not men, as the song goes, or droplets of H2O. It starts raining documents. In the run-up to one of its three-a-year international meetings, ICANN goes into hyperdrive. And this time, days before the Prague meeting (from the 24th to the 29th), the usual downpour has turned into a veritable deluge. Let's just take June 4th as an example. more

De Facto Rules a Boon to Rogue Players

In Ian Flemming's Thunderball M sends 007 to the Bahamas on a hunch that SPECTRE is hiding something there. Well, it's been our hunch for a while that the Bahamas "office" for the Registrar Internet.BS does not exist. Now we have confirmation of such. It has been documented in an explosive undercover expose by LegitScript that Internet.BS address as stated could not be verified, could not accept mail, and that the business itself could not actually be found in the Bahamas. more

ICANN's Contract Not Enforceable on WHOIS Accuracy

This may or may not come as a shock to some of you, but ICANN's contract with the Domain Name Registrars, in terms of WHOIS inaccuracy is not enforceable. Bear with me. The ability of ICANN to enforce against a Registrar who fails to correct or delete a domain with false WHOIS does not exist. more

Who Broke the WHOIS?

As Internet services go, WHOIS held a lot of promise but has repeatedly failed to live up to its potential; raising the question "is it time to retire WHOIS?" The concept behind WHOIS was simple. For each and every registered domain name, provide the facility for querying details about who owns it, who administers it, when was it created and when it will expire. Unfortunately the service lost its way practically from day one after failing to agree upon or adhere to any formal structure of the content it provides. more

Your Whois Search May Be Monitored by Third Parties

" ...my next step in testing was to go to the four hosting services meta-searched by CNet and search them directly with new domain names also picked out of thin air. Two days later they haven't been taken.

At this point I have to say I don't know exactly what's happening, but something fishy is going on. With a whole lot more testing, I think I could figure out the source of Chesterton's domain name feed, but I decided it was time to get the story out first." more

Accountability, Transparency, and… Consistency?

ICANN Compliance now has two conflicting answers on record concerning the enforceability of RAA 378 on WHOIS inaccuracy. This is a topic of extreme importance and one we are trying to get to the bottom of. ...inconsistency needs to be resolved as it directly impacts the current RAA negotiations and certainly before new gTLDs are deployed. more

Industry Updates

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

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