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An Institute to Combat DNS Abuse

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

WHOIS Record Redaction and GDPR: What's the Evolution Post-2018?

We all use the Internet daily. Practically every element of our reality has its equal in the virtual realm. Friends turn into social media contacts, retail establishments to e-commerce shops, and so on. We can't deny that the way the Internet was designed, to what it has become, differs much. One example that we'll tackle in this post is the seeming loss of connection between domains and their distinguishable owners. more

The Netizen's Guide to Reboot the Root (Part I)

In the world of ICANN and Internet policy, complexity is manufactured to create an illusion that issues are impenetrably technical such that normal and everyday principles can't apply. This causes a pervasive and entrenched phenomenon of eyes that glaze over at the mere mention of the word "ICANN" -- including those of government regulators and other officials that might otherwise take more of an active interest. more

.com Is A Clear and Present Danger to Online Safety

"The Internet is the real world now." This assessment was offered by Protocol, a technology industry news site, following the very real violence on Capitol Hill during the counting of the electoral college votes that officially determines the next president of the United States. The media outlet went on to say that, "[t]he only difference is, you can do more things and reach more people online -- with truth and with lies -- than you can in the real world." more

NTIA Objects to Planned o.com Auction

According to media sources, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) wrote to Verisign last Friday, objecting to the company's plan to auction o.com to the highest bidder. The planned release for o.com - described by the Second Amendment to the .com Registry Agreement and intended as a pilot for the remaining reserved single-character .com names - involved an opaque consideration process that ignored community input and set aside hard-won trademark protections developed by stakeholders in order to maximize dollars earmarked for an unidentified cadre of non-profit organizations. more

Cast Your .vote for the Most Interesting New gTLD Development in Q4

2020 has been extremely eventful, so it follows that the domain industry has continued to experience perpetual change, progress and uncertainty in the last three months of the year. In our Q4 New gTLD Quarterly Report, MarkMonitor experts analyze topical registration activity, launch information, .brand growth and DNS abuse, and share a list of upcoming industry meetings for 2021. more

An Innovative Framework That Will Help the IoT Industry Scale Into the Billions

The Internet of Things (IoT) is on an explosive growth trajectory. According to Transforma Insights, the number of IoT-connected devices is projected to increase to 24.1 billion worldwide by 2030. That's almost a three-fold increase from 2019. Much of this growth will be fueled by the coming 5G revolution, which will enable businesses and consumers to take advantage of a wide range of increasingly sophisticated connected devices. more

ICANN Should Keep Content Regulation and Other Arbitrary Rules Out of Registry Contracts

The domain name system is not the place to police speech. ICANN is legally bound not to act as the Internet's speech police, but its legal commitments are riddled with exceptions, and aspiring censors have already used those exceptions in harmful ways. This was one factor that made the failed takeover of the .ORG registry such a dangerous situation. But now, ICANN has an opportunity to curb this abuse and recommit to its narrow mission of keeping the DNS running... more

ICANN Doubles Down on Technical Internet Governance Label: What Are the Implications?

Back in September of 2020, ICANN CEO Göran Marby wrote a blog post discussing the implementation of "a common strategy for Internet governance (IG) and technical Internet governance (TIG)", raising the question of whether the ICANN org. intended to pursue this distinction moving forward, as debated in a previous article. This was proven to be the case during the 2020 IGF's Open Forum #44: "ICANN Open Forum - Technical Internet Governance", organized by ICANN itself... more

A Look at DNS Trends and What the Future May Hold

We used to think of computer networks as being constructed using two fundamental common infrastructure components: names and addresses. Every connected device had a stable protocol address to allow all other devices to initiate a communication transaction with this device by addressing a data packet to this protocol address. And every device was also associated with a name, allowing human users and human use applications to use a more convenient alias for these protocol addresses. more

Another ICANN Meeting Concluded With No Action on DNS Abuse or Privacy/Proxy Policy

The ICANN 69 meeting has come to a close, with no progress on DNS abuse or implementation of the Privacy/Proxy Services Accreditation policy (PPSAI). While ICANN is uniquely positioned to do so, it refuses to do anything proactive about DNS abuse, with its executives overtly attempting to limit its role to data collection. Moreover, its refusal to implement community-driven initiatives such as the PPSAI points to a growing trend where ICANN is backing away from its public interest responsibilities, to the detriment of the Internet and its users. more

A Brief Look at the Domain Attack Surface of Streaming Media Companies

The term "attack surface" is often heard in cybersecurity conversations. It refers to the sum of all possible attack vectors or the vulnerabilities that threat actors can exploit to penetrate a target network or damage an organization somehow. An unused and forgotten subdomain, for instance, can become an attack vector when taken over. Certain categories of companies have very large attack surfaces. Such is the case of streaming media businesses like Netflix and HBO Max. more

2020 Hindsight After 20 Years at ICANN

After two decades of involvement with ICANN, I am stepping down from the Board of Directors, where I served for nine years. I have spent considerable time of late reflecting on the past 20 years, and I have isolated some memories that help frame my time with ICANN. ... November 2000, ICANN07 in Marina del Rey, California - With only a scant idea of what ICANN is all about, I am warmly welcomed by the flag-wearing country code top-level domain (ccTLD) community, who come to ICANN to ensure that nothing happens to affect the independence of ccTLDs... more

Phishing 2020: A Concentrated Dose of Badness

How much phishing is there? Where is it occurring, and why? How can it be reduced? I and my colleagues at Interisle Consulting have just published a new study called Phishing Landscape 2020, designed to answer those questions. We assembled a deep set of data from four different, respected threat intelligence providers and enriched it with additional DNS data and investigation. The result is a look at phishing attacks that occurred in May through July 2020. more

The Whois Wars Go On

There is a lot of discussion about the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 report on evaluating a System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to non-public gTLD registration data after the decisions taken by the GNSO Council on September 24th. Notably, the Business Constituency (BC) and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) have voted against the adoption of the Final Report of the EPDP team. more

Industry Updates

Verisign Q4 2020 Domain Name Industry Brief: 366.3 Million Domain Name Registrations in Q4 2020

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

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

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

Cyber Threat Intel Analysis and Expansion of SolarWinds Identified IoCs

Threat Intel Expansion on Cosmic Lynx BEC Campaign's Recorded IoCs

QAnon and 8Chan Digital Footprint Analysis and Investigation Expansion

Attack Surface Discovery: A Review of FINRA-lookalike Domain and Linked IoCs

A Brief OSINT Analysis of Charming Kitten IoCs

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q4 2020

Revisiting APT1 IoCs with DNS and Subdomain Intelligence

Dark Caracal: Undisclosed Targeted Attack IoCs Can Pose Risks

Verisign Q3 2020 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 370.7M Domain Name Registrations

What Subdomains Lookup Revealed About Thousands of Microsoft-Related Subdomains

10 Common Digital Threats to Businesses