Category Archives: Domain Name Registry

100,000th For World’s Second Safest Domain

The IE Domain Registry, the managed registry for Ireland’s official internet address today announced that the number of domain name registrations in Ireland had passed the 100,000 mark.

Internet community leaders, resellers, business and consumer groups gathered in Dublin last night to celebrate this significant achievement for Ireland’s top level domain. This milestone figure indicates new levels of growth and e-commerce activity amongst Ireland’s growing online population.


The surge in demand for over the past twelve months can be attributed to three key factors. In April 2007 the local namespace was ranked the second safest country code domain name in the world by the 2007 McAfee Site Advisor Report, making it an attractive choice for businesses seeking a secure online trading environment. Secondly, a relaxation of the rules for registering personal domains followed in October 2007, when almost 3,900 domain name registrations were recorded the following month. The upward trend looks set to continue into 2008. The first four months of this year show the IE Domain Registry averaging over 3,000 domain registrations per month, a record quarter for the Registry. Thirdly, the cost of registering or renewing a domain fell further when a 5.8% price cut was announced in January 2008; the fifth consecutive price cut by the IE Domain Registry in as many years.

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Open Source DNS server

A group of experts has released an open-source alternative to the BIND DNS server software that boasts higher performance and better security.

The new DNS server — dubbed Unbound 1.0VeriSign logo

Unbound is a recursive DNS server, which is used by ISPs and enterprises to support DNS look-ups by users. DNS is the feature of the Internet that matches domain names with IP addresses, and it is used for Web browsing, e-mail, and Internet-based telephony.

Unbound was released Tuesday to open-source developers by NLnet Labs, VeriSign, Nominet and Kirei. NLnet Labs, a nonprofit research firm based in The Netherlands, will provide ongoing support for the software.

From its first prototype in 2004, Unbound was designed to be a faster, more secure replacement for BIND. Unbound supports DNS security extensions ( DNSSEC ), which authenticate DNS lookups but are not yet widely deployed because they rely on a public key infrastructure.

“One of the main advantages is that it’s high performing. We designed it from the beginning to be fast,” says Matt Larson, director of DNS research with VeriSign. “We also designed it from the beginning to support DNSSEC. Other DNS servers had to bolt that on, but we were able to start fresh.”

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.COM still the most attractive domain name

A top-level domain (TLD) is the final part of a domain name — the letters that come after the dot. The most famous is .com, but there are others — .net, .org, .tv and .us, for example. But none holds as much allure as the .com extension.
As of May 2008, there were 76,007,285 active and registered .com domain names. This compares to 11,397,594 .net names, 6,772,308 .org names, 5,037,335 .info names, 1,968,760 .biz names, and 1,412,141 .us names.

There are a number of factors that have given the .com domain name its leadership spot among the top-level domains. One issue, of course, is that it was one of the first domain name extensions available (along with .net, .gov and .edu). Other extensions were added later, including .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .pro (Nov. 2000), and .mobi (2005). The .tv extension has existed since 1996 as a country code for Tuvalu. In 2000, the country struck a deal to make the extension widely available to people outside of the country, and in 2006, .tv was first widely marketed as an extension for the entertainment industry. So .com had a pretty significant head start.

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ICANN plans to launch new algorithm

ICANN logoA computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed an algorithm designed to help create new top-level internet domains.

As new domains are added to the familiar .com, .info and .net, the algorithm checks whether the newly proposed name is confusingly similar to existing ones by looking for visual likenesses in its appearance.

Having visually distinct top-level domain names may help avoid confusion in navigating the ever-expanding internet.

It may also help to combat fraud by reducing the potential to create malicious lookalikes, such as .c0m with a zero instead of .com, according to developer Paul E. Black.

Black’s algorithm compares a proposed generic top-level domain (gTLD) with other TLDs and generates a score based on their visual similarities. For example, the .c0m scores an 88 per cent visual similarity with .com.

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Dilusion of Trade Mark and Domain Name

The case of E. & J. Gallo Winery v. Spider Webs Ltd, considered the issue of dilution of a trademark through the use of domain names. In this case, plaintiff, a holder of a trademark, sued defendant under the Anti-Cyber Squatting Act and under Texas Anti-delusion and Trademark Law. The case was decided in 2002 and became one of the first cases in applying (“ACPA”) together with state intellectual property laws. Cyber squatting of domain names will not be permitted and state and federal laws provide remedies to prevent this type of action that directly affect trademarks.

Although the Internet permits the exercise of free speech, United States courts have been prompt to ban borderline exercise of free speech, especially when it infringes upon intellectual property rights. Trademarks are defined in the Lanham Act Section 45 (or 15 U.S.C. Section 1127). They are defined as “any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof (1) used by a person or (2) which a person has a bone fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register.”

A domain name or a web address is the Internet Protocol (IP) address that provides an Internet identity. Domain names provide an easy means for locating Internet addresses that otherwise would be impossible to memorize if we were to use numerical identification only. Domain name registrars assist with registering domain names.

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Sunrise for .ME domain names

From the 6th of May until May 20, anyone with a trademark is eligible to apply for a name with the suffix .me, the assigned top-level domain for the Southern European nation Montenegro. domen-logo.gif

The country has made the .me domain available to interested parties worldwide, hoping to capitalize upon the myriad of uses the extension holds in the English language while keeping its own “,” “,” and “”

During this sunrise period, only owners of trademarks/service marks dated before June 28, 2006 may vie for a domain name. After this period, the registry will be closed until June 6, at which point auctions will begin for the names which received multiple applications. Domains with only a single application will be awarded.The “Landrush” for public application will begin on June 6 and last until June 26, when the registry again closes. Similar auctions will take place for Landrush domains with multiple applicants. Open registration will begin on July 17, and records of who purchased such domains as “,” and “”.

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Canada Efficient Whois Changes

.Ca is getting a whois overhaul. Perhaps the rest of the domain world can use it as a framework.

There have been a number of suggested changes to ICANN’s whois framework. But Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is making changes to its .ca country code on its own. Canada-based domain registrar Tucows (AMEX: TCX) is reporting that CIRA will make sweeping changes to its whois policies on June 10:

-Whois registrant data will be made private by default. It will be “opt-in” if registrants want their information public.
-Whois data for corporations and organizations will be public by default with an opt-out in certain circumstances. (This may mean that domains with an organization as the registrant will not get privacy).
-.Ca domain registrants can be contacted via a contact form on CIRA’s web site

I’m generally in favor of keeping domain registrant data public. But CIRA’s new policy reminds me of an idea I proposed a while back: “masking” e-mail addresses in whois.

Essentially, all domain names would be assigned a masked email address such as This would be a forwarding address to the registrant’s actual email. This would serve a couple purposes:

1. ICANN could track whois spammers
2. If the email forward bounced, ICANN would know that the registrant had invalid information and could inform their registrar

I think we’ll see changes to whois privacy rules for non-country code domains in the future. But the future may be a ways off.

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GOV.IN Under Hacking Threat

05tomcat2.jpg New Delhi, May 4: The cabinet secretariat’s website was showing the homepage of a private software company this afternoon, raising fears that the site had been hacked into. The cabinet secretariat is the nerve centre of the country’s administration and also looks after security with spy agency RAW reporting to it.
When The Telegraph logged into around 3.30pm, it showed the software company’s default homepage with the cartoon of a tomcat on top left.
A well-designed header in red and black said “The Apache Jakarta Project”. When you clicked near the cat, this message appeared: “The mighty tomcat – MEOW!”

Further examination revealed that the company had named its server after the cabinet secretariat’s website. An attempt to enter the “Tomcat manager’s area” was countered with the message: “The server at Tomcat Manager Application requires a username and password.”

The anomaly was corrected only around 7pm after this newspaper called up top officials of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), the government’s nodal agency for computerisation and networking. Till then, government officials seemed in the dark.

The use of the domain is restricted to the constituents of the Indian government at various levels — central, state, Union territory, district and sub-district. The NIC is the exclusive registrar for domain names. The national portal is “”.

The following zones are reserved for use by qualified organisations in India: (academic institutions), (research institutes), (colleges and universities), (government) and (military).

A private company’s use of “” therefore suggests chinks in the NIC’s armour.

Further Information : Requirements Change

This was posted : 28/4/08

On May 1, Brazil is introducing a new rule to its namespace. From next Thursday, individuals with a local contact will be authorized to register .COM.BR domains. br.jpeg

The local presence requirement means that for the time being, only Brazilians will be able to grab .COM.BR domains. Local registry RegistroBR has indicated that these new .COM.BR registration requests will undergo the same validation procedure as existing requests.

he local presence requirement means that for the time being, only Brazilians will be able to grab .COM.BR domains. Local registry RegistroBR has indicated that these new .COM.BR registration requests will undergo the same validation procedure as existing requests.

This means that applicants will have to send an identity certificate (CPF). Local companies and organizations are already required to send proof of registration along with their domain name request.

They have until May 1st to secure their domains and protect them before individuals become eligible to register them.

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Recursive DNS

When most people think of DNS servers, they naturally focus on the authoritative side. This is because every domain on the internet needs to have an authoritative DNS server responsible for storing (and responding with) the authoritative IP address of that domain name. However, the majority of DNS query responses are, in fact, generated from the cache of recursive servers, which are responsible for obtaining the IP address of the site or computer you are trying to reach.

The idea of a recursive server being a potential area of weakness first came to light in 1997, when the owner of a Washington State-based domain name registrar was arrested after violating federal computer fraud statutes by exploiting a loophole in a competitor’s recursive server and redirecting the traffic to his own site. Many of the security compromises and breaches that have occurred ever since have been related to vulnerabilities in the recursive or caching DNS server code.

In many situations, recursive servers are running on outdated software without the security and attention afforded to the authoritative server. This is an oversight, considering that everyone – whether they know it or not – relies on recursive servers to get the answer to their DNS queries.

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