Category Archives: Domain Name Registrants 12 Million Dollars ? goes on the auction block this week, and specialists who monitor the buying and selling of Internet domain names say it could fetch one of the highest prices ever paid for a domain.

Sedo logo

The Cambridge auctioneer and a Swiss broker representing the overseas owner of the domain say there has been strong interest among prospective buyers and the sale price could exceed the estimated $12 million paid for earlier this decade, thought to be the most ever.

Others think the price is likely to fall short of the record.

“I think it’s a seven-figure name,” said Ron Jackson, editor and publisher of the Domain Name Journal in Tampa, Fla., a magazine and website that tracks transactions.

“You could sell anything from there: hotel rooms, flights, ground transportation from airports. For someone with the right vision, there’s a lot you can do with that name. But I don’t think it’s going to be the all-time highest domain sale.” will be auctioned off between Thursday and May 29 by Sedo, an Internet research and appraisal company that runs online marketplaces for domain names from Cambridge and its home office in Cologne, Germany. Bidders must be certified by the company at either of two websites: or, a site acquired by Sedo last year to handle auctions of its premium properties.

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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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100,000 Domains Hijacked

Large numbers of legitimate Web sites, including government sites in the UK and some operated by the United Nations, have been hacked and are serving up malware, a security researcher said Wednesday as massive JavaScript attacks last detected in March resume.

“They’re using the same techniques as last month, of an SQL injection of some sort,” said Dan Hubbard, vice president of security research at Websense, referring to large-scale attacks that have plagued the Internet since January.

Among the sites hacked, said Websense, were several affiliated with either the UN or UK government agencies.

The exact number of sites that have been compromised is unknown, said Hubbard. He estimated that it’s similar to the March attacks, which at their height infected more than 100,000 URLs, including prominent domains such as

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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.

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tom-cruise.jpegHollywood Newsroom noted that Google ads are now popping up for searches on “Tom Cruise” that say “Official Tom Cruise Site. Stay Tuned for the Official Launch of Check it out!” or alternatively “Official Tom Cruise Site. The Countdown is On. launches May 5th. Get the scoop!” and links to it’s a Saturday and I’m interested in Tom Cruise in the same way people are interested in accident scenes as they drive by, I decided to dig a little.

The site currently shows a countdown clock that ends on 9 AM Monday morning (somebody please double check the math for me). The domain name was registered by an attorney, Benita Das, at the Los Angeles law firm Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger. Das is not listed as an attorney on the firm’s directory, but I did find a reference to her back in 2002. Is this one of the law firms that Tom Cruise uses? I have no idea. They do practice entertainment law, though.

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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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Cancer Patient for Domain names

first-aid.jpegA cancer patient was so impressed by his NHS treatment he has been inspired to spread his English pride via the internet. Maidonian John Sewell found himself overflowing with patriotism after receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s disease at Wexham Park Hospital.

Overcome with the need to celebrate our nation’s strengths, he launched a campaign on St George’s Day to ensure a corner of the world wide web remains ‘Forever English’.

The web entrepreneur is campaigning for England to have its own domain name, .eng and has set up an online petition. He has collected more than 350 names in the past eeek and will take the final tally to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The Pinkneys Road resident said: “I’mproud of the NHS and England and feelquite patriotic about doing something for England.”

The 46-year-old said: “The major driving force for this campaign was beingill. Being treated by the NHS made me realise how great it is to be in this country. I wouldn’t have had any better care anywhere than I received in Wexham.”

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Google Trumping Domains ?

Robin Cannon in Search Engine Journal asks the somewhat puzzling question, ‘Is Google Trumping The URL?‘ Apparently more and more people use Google to find websites than type in the URL in the address bar of their browser. As he says:

When there’s a simple box to fill in with your search term, and you know exactly what you’re looking, why bother to use the address bar? If statistics on popular searches are anything to go by, it looks like many people aren’t bothering with that inconvenient “www” and “.com” and are just going straight through Google.

Using the Google search box instead of the address bar opens up a whole new world. Typing in only the domain name without the dot-com may or may not bring you to the dot-com website. It all depends what Google feels is the most relevant result for the word you have typed in. If you can get your dot-net, dot-org or dot-ca website to be #1 in Google, then you’ll win the searcher’s click. Dot-com domains are no longer invincible on the web. As so often happens, the Internet with Google’s help is levelling the playing field.

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Typosquatters Under Fire

It’s estimated that some nine million Americans will have their identities stolen this year, many with the Web as the unwitting accomplice. That is, of course, a very big number and a very big problem. So big, in fact, it nearly obscures an analogous crime.

It’s also one perpetrated via the Web. This time, its victims are companies, and the villains go by names like typosquatters. And the crime? It’s known as brandjacking.

That name might be amusing if it didn’t ruin so many marketers’ hard work. And that, dear reader, is frightfully easy: All a perpetrator has to do is register a misspelled version of your brand name and build a bogus Web site for it. Then he places ads on the site and profits from the pay-per-click traffic revenue that should be yours. And while he’s busy siphoning off your revenue, your confused customers end up on a misleading or unsavory page they associate with your brand.

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Comment : This is the reason why all companies should brand protect there names.