The Swiss ccTLD, .ch, celebrated 30 years of existence last Saturday, with the SWITCH Foundation, the current registry, being established later the same year.
The .ch country code top level domain entered the domain name system on 20 May 1987, and on 22 October the SWITCH Foundation was established. In the intervening 30 years, .ch has become the safest ccTLD in Europe, according to SWITCH.
One of the key reasons for .ch being so safe has been the establishment of SWITCH-CERT over 20 years ago, Switzerland’s first computer emergency response team. CERTs specialise in identifying abuse and attacks and fixing security incidents.
No other ccTLD has security experts that take such a proactive and systematic approach to combating malware and phishing. In 2016 alone, SWITCH-CERT’s 14 experts removed malware and phishing from .ch websites in 1,900 cases in conjunction with authorities such as the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) and the Swiss Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI) as well as registrars, hosting providers and the website owners affected. This was done within 24 hours in 70% of cases. SWITCH-CERT provides those affected with precise instructions, ensuring that problems are solved much more quickly. Internet users are thus actively guarded against malware infections and attempted fraud. This protection is making .ch an increasingly unattractive target for cybercriminals compared with other domain endings.
Protecting the Swiss Internet is of vital importance. The Swiss Federal Council has declared .ch to be a critical infrastructure. High availability and stability are hugely important for the Swiss population, not least due to the fast pace of digitalisation in all areas of life.
SWITCH will continue to be responsible for the security and stability of .ch websites for at least the next five years. The foundation won OFCOM’s public tender to operate the registry in 2016 with security being a key component of the winning tender. Announcing that SWITCH had won the tender at the time the government noted how important security was and that SWITCH had the best security concept.
OFCOM noted SWITCH’s tender stood out with a combination of an excellent concept for combating cybercrime and a good price/performance ratio. Other criteria that were part of the tender process were experience, community, economic independence and DNSSEC.