Whois

Blogs

Could Bulk-Registered Typosquatting Domains Be Connected to .ORG DNS Abuse?

Public Interest Registry (PIR) announced the creation of the DNS Abuse Institute about two months ago as it believes that "every .ORG makes the world a better place" and "anything that gets in the way of that is a threat," notably in the form of Domain Name System (DNS) abuse. To show support for the initiative, WhoisXML API analyzed monthly typosquatting data feeds for December 2020, January 2021, and February 2021 to identify .ORG domain trends... more

The Insult and Injury of the U.S. Government's Failure to Enforce ICANN's Contractual Obligation

Someone recently observed that many stakeholders have fallen victim to a "chilling effect" resulting from fear of retaliation by the rich and powerful bullies currently infecting the multistakeholder community, ICANN, and Internet governance. I related to what I was hearing because I've been personally targeted and libelously attacked and it is deeply dismaying enough having to worry about threats to revenue and reputation along with other harmful effects of such thuggery. more

Is ICANN Running a Racket?

On March 13, 2019, I published an article on CircleID, Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name, that explored the proposed release and auction of o.com, a single-character .com domain name that was registered in 1993 and assigned to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) by Dr. Jon Postel. Although the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has since raised serious objections... more

Cybersecurity Tech Accord: 98% of Registrar Whois Requests Unrequited

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

The Internet Isn't Privatized Until .com Is Put Out for Bid

Previously, this series tackled the terribly awful Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement and also made the case that the tainted presumptive renewal currently included in registry agreements is inherently anti-competitive. But renewing legitimacy and integrity of Internet governance requires accurately understanding the unique and significant role retained by the U.S. government following the IANA transition. more

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

The first part of this series explained how Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement is highly offensive to the public interest. But the reasons for saving the Internet are more fundamental to Western interests than a bad deal made under highly questionable circumstances. One of the world's foremost experts on conducting censorship at scale, the Chinese Communist Party's experience with the Great Firewall... more

A Patchwork Quilt: Abuse Mitigation, the Domain Naming System and Pending Legislation

A few weeks ago, Appdetex published a blog with predictions for 2021, and admittedly, at the date of publication, there were already very clear indications that one prediction was already in flight. In our blog post, we'd said, "With the global domain name system failing to abate abuse, and, in fact, thwarting consumer protection, get ready for a patchwork of local laws targeting attribution and prosecution of bad actors... Get ready for some confusion and turmoil in the world of notice and takedown related to local laws and regulations." 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

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

Brand Protection Beyond the "Whack-a-Mole" Approach

I recently shared at a conference how a seasoned brand and fraud expert from one of the world's largest global financial institutions lamented a major attack where multiple fraudulent websites would pop up every single day. All attacks were launched from the same registrar and web hosting company, and no matter how much they reached out to these providers, they received the same reply: "we will pass on your request to the registrant or site owner," and then nothing happened. more

More Warning Shots for ICANN, or the End of the Road?

Last fall, I wrote about ICANN's failed effort to achieve its goal of preserving the Whois domain name registration directory to the fullest extent possible. I predicted that if the policy effort failed, governments would take up the legislative pen in order to fulfill the long-ignored needs of those combating domain name system harms. That forecast has now come true through significant regulatory actions in the United States and the European Union in the form of a proposed directive from the European Commission (EC) and instruction from the US Congress to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 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

What Are the Connected Assets of Confirmed Fake FBI Domains?

Two months ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alerted the public to a list of domains that could easily be mistaken to be part of its network. The list of artifacts contained a total of 92 domain names, 78 of which led to potentially malicious websites, while the remaining 14 have yet to be activated or are no longer active as of 23 November 2020. more

An Investigative Analysis of the Silent Librarian IoCs

The Silent Librarian advanced persistent threat (APT) actors have been detected once again, as the academic year started in September. With online classes increasingly becoming the norm, the group's phishing campaigns that aim to steal research data and intellectual property could have a high success rate. Dozens of phishing domain names have been reported, although some may have already been taken down. 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

News Briefs

Trump Admin Ramping Up Attacks on GDPR – Says It Helps Cybercrime, Threatens Public Health

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission Wins Appeal in Lawsuit Against US DomainTools

Domain Registrars Given a Six-Month Deadline to Implement Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)

EU Should Not Be Setting US WHOIS and Privacy Policy, Says MPAA

Easy Access to ICANN, IP Address Data Beats Info on Encrypted Data, Says Telstra Cybersecurity Head

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

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

Former ICANN Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz to be Named Chair of Whois Group

DomainTools Sued for Misusing New Zealand's .NZ Domain Name Registration Information

Anti-Phishing Working Group Proposes Use of Secure Hashing to Address GDPR-Whois Debacle

European Data Regulators Throw ICANN Back to the Drawing Board for a Third Time on Whois Privacy

ICANN Files Legal Action Against Domain Registrar for Refusal to Collect WHOIS Data

Domain Name Registrars Ask ICANN for a "Moratorium" on Its New GDPR Policy

A Short-Term Suspension of GDPR Enforcement on WHOIS May Be Necessary, Says U.S. Government

ICANN Releases Temporary WHOIS Specification Plan for GDPR Compliance With Deadline Two Weeks Away

ICANN CEO "Cautiously Optimistic" EU to Provide Clear Guidance for Domain Industry GDPR Compliance

ICANN's GDPR Compliance Model for Whois Unlikely to Be Implemented in Time for May 25 Deadline

Dutch Geographic TLDs Refuse Public Access to Whois Data

Thick Whois Policy for .COM Goes Live

U.S. Bypassing ICANN on Whois Privacy With Closed-Door Meeting in Paris

Most Viewed

North Dakota Judge Gets it Wrong

Network Solutions Responds to Front Running Accusations

Help! My Domain Name Has Been Hijacked!

Whois Privacy vs. Anonymity

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

Most Commented

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

Industry Updates

A Deep Dive into Known Magecart IoCs: What Are the Connected Internet Properties?

COVID-19-Related Bulk Domain Registrations: A Possible Case of DNS Abuse?

"Voltswagen": April Fool's Prank, Brand Turmoil, and Bulk Domain Registrations

What Are the Common Forms of Bulk Domain & Typosquatting Registrations?

We Detected and Analyzed Thousands of CCTV-, Firewall-, and SCADA-themed Domains & Subdomains

How Reverse IP Lookup API Can Help Detect Connected Domains

Come April, Nothing Is Certain Except Phishing and Taxes

Expanding the List of Artifacts for the Recent JPMorgan Chase Squatting Campaign

Keeping Track of Ramnit through Artifact Expansion

A List of Potential Attack Artifacts for the Top 3 Phished Brands in 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

How to Monitor IP Netblocks for Possible Targeted Attacks

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

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

Participants – Random Selection