DNS Belgium has moved to immediate checks of registrant data for .be domain names using what appears to be some form of artificial intelligence. Previously registrants had 14 days to verify their data if it was thought incorrect data was used. It is one further method to crack down on cybercriminals registering domain names in Belgium’s ccTLD.
Previously when DNS Belgium determined that a .be domain name was registered using incorrect data, the registrant was asked by email to correct this data. If this was not done within 14 days, the domain name was deactivated and the website made unavailable.
However as DNS Belgium and many others know, cybercriminals can do considerable damage in 14 days. They register – obviously using false data – a domain name, send huge numbers of mails and steal money from unsuspecting people via a fake webshop or they get hold of personal data via a site that is very similar to a banking platform, for example. This makes it worthwhile for fraudsters to put their sites online, even if briefly. To avoid this from happening, DNS Belgium now checks registration data before a domain name becomes active.
DNS Belgium is now using an automated system to screen registrants of the more than 20,000 new domain names each month under Belgium’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD). They are using a series of parameters to determine whether the domain name could be a suspicious registration. If the Belgian ccTLD registry believe this to be the case, the registrant still has 14 days to correct the data.
Anyone who registers a domain name with the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org and then also gives a Russian phone number and Chinese address, will undoubtedly be asked to change the data or prove that the data are indeed correct. The domain name will not be activated as long as this has not happened.
A secure internet is the goal behind this new initiative. But also by proactively detecting and taking action against cybercrime, by collaborating with the authorities and through technical innovations DNS Belgium is working to guarantee the security of .be. This ensures as many fraudulent sites as possible are taken offline and cyber criminals are not given a chance.
Coming up, DNS Belgium will be launching a light-hearted social media campaign to further increase consumer confidence in .be domain names in the northern autumn. This will include short, vlog-style videos, a friendly influencer will experimentally find out whether something is safe or not. Among other things, it shows whether it’s a good idea to be tackled by a rugby team or to eat bananas for a week. You can probably guess the answer, the message of the autumn campaign comes down to ‘if only everything was as safe as .be’.