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Reverse WHOIS: A Powerful Process in Cybersecurity

WHOIS History API: Powering Domain Investigations

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Whois Policy Reform Advances

The Associated Press reports this week on ICANN developments involving the Whois reform. The Whois database, which displays domain name registrant information including names, addresses, phone numbers, postal and email addresses, has been the subject of years of debate within ICANN as many in the Internet community have expressed concerns about the mandatory disclosure of such personal information. The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) has successfully pushed for reform, though it is uncertain how the ICANN board will respond. more

Whois Privacy for Domain Owners Moves Forward

Help may be on the way as the Whois task force last week endorsed a proposal that would give more privacy options to small businesses, individuals with personal websites and other domain name owners.

"At the end of the day, they are not going to have personal contact information on public display," said Ross Rader, a task force member and director of retail services for registration company Tucows Inc. "That's the big change for domain name owners." more

ICANN Likely to Adopt New Whois Privacy Policy

Intellectual property lawyers guarding corporate trademarks on the Internet may soon have a harder time tracking down the people behind websites infringing on their clients' brands.

After several years of debate, this year ICANN is likely to decide on adopting a new policy that would let website owners keep most of their contact information confidential when they register for domain names. Instead, they would be allowed to list a separate go-between point of contact. more

ICANN's Last Call for Whois Comments

From "Last Call for Whois Comments", a recent opinion piece by eWeek's Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer: "It's not a good sign when the criminals and the lawyers are on the same side of an issue; there may be no good solution to the problems of Whois service rules. Who would have imagined that so much business and so much abuse would center around Internet domain names? Certainly not the designers of the system, including those of the Whois service, which reports on ownership and some other data on domain names... more

.XXX is Back on the Radar Screen

The DoC seems to have finally realized it went too far by using ICANN to serve the interests of some conservative groups, as mentioned in a previous post. The new story is now that the ICANN board did not reject the .XXX application as such, but only the agreement negotiated between ICM Registry and the ICANN staff at that time. How subtle these things are... more

"ip who is" Among Google's Top Searches in 2006

On Google's annual top 10 list of the hottest search words and phrases, "ip who is" has taken the top 10 spot in "Who is..." category. Google does not reveal how many searches it takes to reach the top 10, but it said millions of searches are conducted each day. more

UDRP and Article 92(b) of EUROPEAN COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 40/94

It has been over a year since I posted "The Non-Parity of the UDRP", how little did I know then compared to now! Since that posting, the corporations and their lawyers have given me a crash course in the law and I have learned much. There are many tricks that corporations will play on a domain name registrant in order to silence criticism of the corporation and to violate the registrants right of freedom of expression without frontiers. The UDRP Administrative Proceedings is one such trick... more

False Positives and Ignorance

Content inspection is a poor way to recognise spam, and the proliferation of image spam recently drums this home. However if one must use these unreliable techniques, one should bring mathematical rigour to the procedure. Tools like SpamAssassin combine content inspection results, with other tests, in order to tune rule-sets to give acceptable rates of false positives (mistaking genuine emails for spam), and thus end up assigning suitable weights to different content rules. If one is going to use these approaches to filtering spam, and some see it as inevitable, one better know one's statistics... more

New WHOIS Definition Survives Marrakech ICANN Meeting

For now, it appears that the new, more technically focused and privacy-friendly definition of the purpose of Whois survived the Marrakech meeting. The U.S. Government and the copyright and law enforcement interests mounted a major onslaught against the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) action, using the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) as their pressure point.  more

FTC Issues Statement on Whois Databases

A recent statement released by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission emphasized that the Whois databases should be kept "open, transparent, and accessible," allowing agencies like the FTC to protect consumers and consumers to protect themselves: "In short, if ICANN restricts the use of Whois data to technical purposes only, it will greatly impair the FTC's ability to identify Internet malefactors quickly -- and ultimately stop perpetrators of fraud, spam, and spyware from infecting consumers' computers," the statement states." more

Nominet Warns on Recent Jump in Whois Data Mining

Nominet has issued a warning about commercial companies that are swiping copyrighted information on domain name owners from its Whois database.

Several weeks ago, the UK internet registry owner noticed a sharp increase in the number of people accessing its Whois service, an online searchable database that provides ownership details for individual .uk internet addresses, including the name of the individual and sometimes their home address. more

Why Don't GAC Representatives Follow Their Own National Law?

A few weeks ago ICANN's domain name policy making organ (the GNSO) decided that the purpose of Whois was domain name coordination and not compulsory surveillance of domain name registrants. The US and Australian governments expressed their opposition. The US government's lack of concern for privacy is well known. But what about Australia? The Australian ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) representative, Ashley Cross, tried to use his authority as "a government" to intimidate the GNSO, sending it a message announcing that "Australia" supports a broader definition of Whois purpose that gives ICANN a blank check... What does "Australia" really support, however? more

Spammers Operating Anonymously via Whois Privacy

The amount of message board spam has been escalating dramatically since mid-2005, according to experts and a search of Google shows a number of frequently recurring domains are appearing in bogus comments on message boards all over the internet.

Domains such as 888.typo7.com, e-casinoroom.com, HobbyWorkshop.com, onlinepokerment.com, TopSitesRanking.com and g4h5.com all appear in bogus postings which reference online gaming. Many of the actual sites link through to more than one established poker site. more

How Domain Name Typo-Squatters are Gaming Google

In a recent article, eWeek reports on researchers at Microsoft revealing large-scale, typo-squatting schemes that use "multi-layer URL redirection to game Google's AdSense for domains program". According to this report, the Microsoft Research Systems Management Research Group succeeded in tracking a ring of typo-squatters registering misspelled domain names that generated traffic for serving advertising from Google. more

Domain Name Proxy Service Not Inherently Evil

In the recent court decision of CyBerCorp Holding v. Allman case, although the registrant of the domain name 'cybertraderlive.com' did lose the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) case and was found to have acted in bad faith (having been a former customer of complainant), the decision is noteworthy as it finds that registrant's use of proxy service to keep contact information private, in and of itself is not evidence of bad faith... 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