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78% of Cybersecurity Professionals Expect an Increase in DNS Threats, Yet Have Reservations

Alban Kwan A recent survey conducted by the Neustar International Security Council confirmed the heightened interests on domain name system (DNS) security. The survey reveals that over three-quarters of cybersecurity professionals anticipate increases in DNS attacks, especially with more people shopping online amid the pandemic. Yet, close to 30% have reservations about their ability to respond to these attacks. more

Psst! Do You Know Anyone Developing Blockchain Applications?

Thomas Barrett The International Trademark Association's Blockchain Subcommittee is interested in meeting companies working on Blockchain applications related to intellectual property. The Blockchain Subcommittee's mission is to explore the use of blockchain technology in trademark prosecution, maintenance, protection, and practice, including the opportunities and threats to the value of trademarks, brands, and consumer trust in emerging blockchain technologies. more

A Simple Suggestion for President Biden Regarding the Cuban Internet

Larry Press Last September, I asked what had happened to the proposal for a branch connecting the ARCOS undersea cable, which has a landing point in North Miami Beach, to Cojimar, Cuba. The consortium that operates the cable had applied for permission to connect Cuba in July 2018, and the FCC granted a request for streamlined processing, which should have taken less than 45 days, but nothing happened until September 2020 when the application was referred to a Justice Department committee... more

Notes from NANOG 81

Geoff Huston As the pandemic continues, the network operator community continues to meet online. NANOG held its 81st meeting on February 8 and 9, and these are my notes from some of the presentations at that meeting... Ethernet, developed in 1973 at Xerox PARC, was a revolutionary step in network architectures in many ways. The common bus architecture imposed several constraints on the network that have echoed through the ensuing four decades in all kinds of ways. more

Facebook Stays, Everybody's Happy, but Nothing Has Changed

Paul Budde After some turmoil, Facebook won the war with the Australian Government as the necessary changes were made to the legislation that avoided them needing to change their business model. Those subtleties are lost in the general press. What counts for the popular media is that they were able to spin some great stories around the fact that Australia stood up to the giants. That brought international attention, which boosted the ego of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. more

Cybersecurity Tech Accord: 98% of Registrar Whois Requests Unrequited

Frederick Felman When a brand goes so far as to ask a domain name registrar for Whois (the registration contact details) of a potentially abusive domain name, there's likely a lot at stake. Most often, the request is prompted by consumer safety concerns, such as the risk to consumers posed by a malicious site. Other times, the demand has a simple goal: to have a dialog with the registrant about the use of trademarks or other intellectual property in order to avoid extreme action. more

Let's Bring Telecom Manufacturing Back to the US

Doug Dawson President Biden recently signed an executive order that will require that the federal government buys more goods produced in the United States. This was done to promote American jobs and to keep profits at home. It's a great idea, but it suffers from one big flaw -- we don't manufacture a lot of things in the US anymore. Statistics are hard to pin down, but something like 40,000 US factories have shut down over the last decade. more

Macquarie Group Is Set to Shake Up the Digital Infrastructure Market

Paul Budde A few months ago, I reported on the broader market of which telecommunications infrastructure is a part. I mentioned data centers, cloud computing and data analytics (big data). All together, we can perhaps best call this digital infrastructure. While the importance of this merged set of infrastructures will benefit all economies and societies, I recently focused on regional developments as basically every region and every mid-size town will need to have a digital hub for local computing workloads and storage. more

Facebook Is Right to Call the Australian Government Bluff

Paul Budde As mentioned in previous analyses, the way that the Government has approached its battle with the digital giants has been flawed from the beginning. True, its tough stand had made Google pay media companies well above what these companies would have been able to negotiate individually with Google, but the fundamentals of why these battles are taking place are still unchanged. more

Busting Domain Name Secondary Market Myths

Zak Muscovitch The Secondary Market in domain names plays a critical role in Internet commerce yet is often misunderstood. This article will attempt to clear up some of the myths that frequently arise when discussing the Secondary Market... Domain name investors are but one group participating in the thriving domain name Secondary Market, in which already registered domain names move from one owner to another. more

An Institute to Combat DNS Abuse

Graeme Bunton Over the last few years, it's become clear that abuse of the Domain Name System -- whether in the form of malware, botnets, phishing, pharming, or spam -- threatens to undermine trust in the Internet. At Public Interest Registry, we believe that every new .ORG makes the world a better place. That means anything that gets in the way of that is a threat, and that includes DNS Abuse. more

SpaceX Starlink Is Coming to Low-Income Nations

Larry Press Beta testers in the US and Canada paid $500 for a terminal and are paying $99 per month for the service. The beta tests began in high-income countries, but SpaceX is beginning to roll Starlink out and will include low-income nations, for example, India. Last September, SpaceX responded to a request for consultation on a roadmap to promote broadband connectivity and enhanced broadband speed from TRAI, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India. more

Emergence, Rise and Fall of Surveillance Capitalism, Part 2: Rise and Fall

Klaus Stoll One of the consequences of the Jan 6th events is a renewed attention towards Surveillance Capitalism as a key doctrine undermining democracy.2 This part 2 of the 2 part series of discusses the rise and fall of Surveillance Capitalism under the premise that the better we understand the danger at the door, the better we are able to confront it. more

Google Set to Survive in Oz, but Far Bigger Threats Are on the Way

Paul Budde The signs are that the Australian Government and Google are close to a compromise. The Government's main demands stay in place, but some of the details will be changed. This allows the Government to claim victory, while the damage to Google will be limited... Publishers will, in one way, or another be paid for news, either through a payment based on the value of the news and the value of the Google search facility. more

EU Rulings on Geo-Blocking in Digital Storefronts Will Increase Piracy Rates in the Developing World

Mark Datysgeld For the longest time, it was an insurmountable challenge for those in the developing world to be able to afford to legally consume multimedia products. Prices originally set in Dollars, Euros or Yen often received insufficient adjustments to compensate for lower incomes, something that was compounded by local import or manufacture taxes that did little to alleviate matters. more

News Briefs

PIR Launches New Institute to Combat DNS Abuse

Public Interest Registry (PIR), the non-profit operator of the .org top-level domain, today launched the DNS Abuse Institute, a centralized effort to combat DNS Abuse. In its news release, PIR said the Institute "will bring together leaders in the anti-abuse space to fund research, publish recommended practices, share data, and provide tools to identify and report DNS Abuse." more

Alphabet to Shut down Loon, its Balloon Based Internet Access Project

Despite several groundbreaking technical achievements over the past nine years, Google's parent company Alphabet has decided to end the Loon project. The company said the road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped.  more

DNSSEC Now Deployed in all Generic Top-Level Domains, Says ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers organization (ICANN org) announced that all of the current 1,195 generic top-level domains (gTLDs) have deployed Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). more

Donuts Completes the Acquisition of Afilias

Donuts stated today that it has completed the acquisition of Afilias announced on November 19. Donuts' CEO Akram Atallah says the company is now ready to begin the integration plan promising minimal disruptions to customers. more

The Government of Niue Launches Proceedings With ICANN to Reclaim Its .nu Top-Level Domain

The Government of Niue, a small island 2,400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand, launched proceedings today demanding a "redelegation" of its country code top-level domain, .nu, from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). more

A New Privacy-Focused DNS Protocol Released Called Oblivious

Cloudflare and Apple, along with Fastly, on Tuesday announced a new proposed DNS standard that separates IP addresses from queries preventing an entity from seeing both at the same time. more

Internet Society Extends Its Significant Financial Support Commitment to the IETF

According to an announcement on Monday, the Internet Society has agreed to extend its existing financial commitment to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for an additional term of six years. more

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Registers Its 50,000th "Cybersquatting" Case

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center on Monday announced it had registered its 50,000th "cybersquatting" case. The 50,000th case just received by WIPO coincides with the organization's 20th anniversary on November 20, 2020. more

DDoS Attacks Are Surging Both in Frequency and Sophistication

Cloudflare's new report warns about the significant increase of DDoS attacks and their level of sophistication. The numbers doubled from Q1 to Q2 and doubled again in Q3, resulting in a four-fold increase compared to the pre-COVID level in the first quarter. more

Donuts to Acquire Afilias

Donuts and Afilias announced today that Donuts is acquiring Afilias in a deal that is expected to close in December 2020 for an undisclosed amount. The combined entities will support over 25 million domain names spanning well over 400 TLDs. The deal will not include certain Afilias businesses, such as the mobile software and registrar businesses, which will remain with Afilias' original group of investors. more

U.S. Military Is Buying Location Data of People Around the World Through Ordinary Apps

The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of ordinary people worldwide, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, reports Motherboard. Among the apps connected to this type of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app with more than 98 million downloads worldwide. more

Backlash Over Potential Firing of U.S. Election Cybersecurity's Top Official

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with over forty other cybersecurity experts and organizations, are urging the White House to keep politics out of securing this month's election in the U.S. more

SpaceX Gets FCC’s Approval to Bid in a Federal Auction for Rural-Broadband Funding

SpaceX's Starlink project appears to be the only low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite ISP among close to 400 ISPs to qualify to bid in a U.S. federal rural-broadband funding auction. more

New Data Reveals Phishing Attacks Are Bigger Than Reported, Exact Size of Problem Unknown

A group of experts from Interisle Consulting Group released a paper today, reporting a comprehensive study of the phishing landscape in 2020. The study's goal was to capture and analyze a large set of information about phishing attacks to better understand how much phishing is taking place, where it is taking place, and better ways to fight them. more

CENTR Has Released an Animated Video on ccTLDs and Their Technical Role Concerning Content

Due to increased legislative interest in this topic, CENTR says there is a pressing need for comprehensive educational material on the technical capabilities of the DNS, ccTLDs and their role in the internet ecosystem. more

New Digital Services Act Should Not Disrupt Internet's Technical Operations, Warn RIPE NCC, CENTR

RIPE NCC and CENTR have released a statement today in response to the upcoming European Commission's Digital Services Act, urging policymakers to distinguish between the Internet's core infrastructure and operations. more

First Round of U.S. Layoffs Due to Huawei Blockade

Neophotonics, the Nasdaq-listed producer of various optical communications products, including silicon photonics and photonic integrated circuits (PICs), warned investor this week that the new restrictions on business with China's Huawei - its largest customer - could have a major impact on future sales. more

ICANN Introduces Pandemic Internet Access Reimbursement Program

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on Monday announced its Pandemic Internet Access Program Pilot for the upcoming ICANN69 meetings. more

China Accuses Washington of Damaging Global Trade With Huawei Sanctions

Today, China accused Washington of damaging global trade with sanctions against the tech giant Huawei and says it will protect Chinese companies. more

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

On Monday, the Trump administration announced plans to auction off 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum dedicated initially to military purposes for commercial use starting in mid-2022 to fuel 5G network deployment in the United States. more

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Industry Updates

A Look at Recent Attacks on K-12 Distance Learning Providers Using Domain Intelligence

WhoisXML API As early as December of last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) received reports of several cyber attacks targeting K-12 distance learning institutions. more

SolarWinds Cyber Intel Analysis Part 2: A Look at Additional CISA-Published IoCs

WhoisXML API A few weeks back, we added unpublicized artifacts to the list of indicators of compromise (IoCs) published by both FireEye and Open Source Context back in December 2020. Some would have thought that would put a stop to the havoc the SolarWinds threat actors have been wreaking, but the group targeted Malwarebytes just recently according to a company report. more

How to Monitor IP Netblocks for Possible Targeted Attacks

WhoisXML API A couple of weeks back, a security researcher alerted his LinkedIn contacts about possibly ongoing targeted attacks stemming from the Iranian subnet 194[.]147[.]140[.]x. He advised cybersecurity specialists to watch out for subnets that may be threatful and consider blocking them. This post encouraged us to look into the subnets and details our findings using IP Netblocks WHOIS Database. more

Brand Abuse is Systemic: The Role of Networks in Brand Abuse

Appdetex The 2020 COVID pandemic forced businesses to double down on their digital investments as in-person moved online. Brands refined and upped their marketing investments across digital channels - email, websites, social media, apps, and advertising - to serve their customers along their digital buying journeys. more

Boosting Domain Protection Strategies with Typosquatting Domain Intelligence

WhoisXML API An enterprise's domain portfolio continues to change as it offers new products and services or withdraw old ones. Mergers, acquisitions, and buyouts would also affect its domain portfolio. Constant monitoring of one's domain portfolio and its related infrastructure is crucial in today's cybersecurity landscape. more

Enriching Know-Your-Customer (KYC) Practices With IP Intelligence

WhoisXML API Know-your-customers (KYC) policies aim to minimize the risk of money laundering, bribery, and other types of fraud. While it was originally implemented in financial institutions, companies outside the financial sector have adapted KYC with digital transactions as the primary driver. These days, the approach is enforced by virtual asset dealers, nonprofit organizations, and even social media companies. more

Radix's H2 2020 Premium Domains Report

Radix We are excited to share our bi-annual premium report for the second half of 2020. This report gives a full overview of the premium domain sales across our nTLD portfolio from 1st July 2020 till 31st December 2020. more

Appdetex Accelerates Growth With $12.2 Million Financing Led by Baird Capital

Appdetex Appdetex, a global brand protection leader and expert in online detection, assessment, and enforcement of online infringements, today announced that Baird Capital has led a $12.2 million Series C financing to fuel the company's growth, team, and market opportunity. more

Post-Riot Domain Registration Trends: Findings From Tracking Trump-Related Domains and Subdomains

WhoisXML API The U.S. Capitol riot on 6 January 2021 was an unexpected event following the 2020 U.S. elections. The incident also made headlines worldwide, prompting us to track the registration trend for Trump-related domains and subdomains. We also looked into two domains for Trump's e-commerce stores that Shopify shut down. more

The New .AU Domain Licensing Rules and Their Impact

CSC The Australian domain registry, auDA, has now confirmed their new licensing rules will go into effect on April 12, 2021. The registry has been working on this change for quite some time in preparation for the anticipated launch of their top-level domain (TLD), .AU. more

Blind Eagle Targeted Attack: Using Threat Intelligence Tools for IoC Analysis and Expansion

WhoisXML API Blind Eagle is a South American threat actor group believed to be behind APT-C-36 and that has been active since at least 2018. It primarily targets Colombian government institutions and large corporations in the financial, petroleum, and professional manufacturing industries. more

Cyber Threat Intel Analysis and Expansion of SolarWinds Identified IoCs

WhoisXML API The SolarWinds hack affected several government agencies and tech companies in the U.S. and worldwide. The sophisticated malware attack is believed to have compromised the trusted IT management software as early as March 2020 but only came to light in December. more

New Study by eco Alliance: Best Practices Show Future Potential for Green IT 2030

eco Are European data centres ready for the climate targets of the EU Green Deal, to strengthen climate and environmental protection through digitalisation? A new study with best practices in the field of energy-efficient data centres formulates technological development potentials as well as policy recommendations. more

All Roads Lead to… Domains: Why the Humble Domain Name is the Foundation of Your Online Security

CSC For most people, a domain is just an address that you type into a browser, but for businesses, domain names are the foundation of their online presence. A recent article says, "When it comes to operating a business online, the domain name is the center of everything. The domain name should ensure a frictionless and painless experience for the company, its customers, its partners and suppliers, and its employees." more

Enriching Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems with IP and Domain Intelligence

WhoisXML API 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

WhoisXML API 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

WhoisXML API 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

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