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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 / Recently Commented

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

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

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

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

The Utility Formerly Known As WHOIS

Muscle memory is a funny thing. We don't even think about it really, but when we do the same thing over and over again, it just becomes second nature to us. This is how we've come to use WHOIS over the past two decades to get contact information for registered domain names. If you wanted to see who owned a domain, you'd simply do a WHOIS search. I've probably done hundreds of thousands of them during my time in the industry. Well as of this week, a major step in the retirement of WHOIS officially took place. more

ICANN at a Crossroads: GDPR and Human Rights

The European Data Protection Board certainly has been keeping its records straight. Its 27 May statement starts with the following: "WP29 has been offering guidance to ICANN on how to bring WHOIS in compliance with European data protection law since 2003." All internet users have dealings with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, yet the vast majority have never heard of ICANN. more

Law Enforcement Agencies Will Have Authority on Registries and Registrars

Accessing Whois information and acting on a litigious domain name is becoming a nightmare for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must have an access to the information provided by registrants in the Whois database and, in specific cases, have authority to act FAST on a domain name. The EU has a solution for this and it's coming in 2020. more

M3AAWG and APWG Do the Best Survey Yet on WHOIS Redaction

M3AAWG, the Messaging, Malware, and Mobile, Anti-Abuse Working Group and APWG, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, surveyed their members about recent WHOIS changes. With over 300 results from security researchers, it's the broadest report yet on WHOIS use. The survey results confirm our concerns that WHOIS was a vital resource for security research, and its loss is a serious and ongoing problem. more

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

New Zealand's Domain Name Commission today won a motion for preliminary injunction in a US lawsuit against the company DomainTools. more

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

Special interests who oppose privacy are circulating draft legislation to cut short ICANN's Whois policy process, warns Milton Mueller in a post published today in Internet Governance Project. more

ICANN's ePDP - An Insider's Perspective

Amazingly enough, summer is rapidly ending as kids head back to school, the temperatures in the mornings are just slightly cooler, and soon enough jeans and sweatshirts will be upon us. It also means that the important work on ICANN's temporary specification regarding WHOIS relative to GDPR has already aged a few months. The ICANN Board adopted the temporary specification in May 2018 and it became effective on the 25th of the month. more

It's About Whois Display And Access

The need for an access model for non-public Whois data has been apparent since GDPR became a major issue before the community well over a year ago. Now is the time to address it seriously, and not with half measures. We urgently need a temporary model for access to non-public Whois data for legitimate uses, while the community undertakes longer-term policy development efforts. more

Industry Updates

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

Typosquatting Protection: A Look into Instagram-Themed Domain Names

Investigating Typo Domains Beyond Credit Suisse's Spying Scandal

IP Geolocation Intelligence: An Aid Against Location-Based Threats?