Verisign announced there were 246 million registered domain names on the planet across all top level domains at the end of September in their latest Domain Name Industry Brief, an increase of 5.7 million on the second quarter, meaning that if similar growth rates continued there would be over a 250 million domain names on the planet today.The increase of 5.7 million domain names globally equates to a growth rate of 2.4 percent over the second quarter of 2012, and marks the seventh straight quarter with greater than 2 percent growth. Worldwide registrations have grown by 26.4 million, or 12 percent, since the third quarter of 2011.The .com and .net Top-Level Domains (TLDs) experienced aggregate growth in the third quarter of 2012, reaching a combined total of approximately 119.9 million domain names in the adjusted zone for .com and .net. This represents a 1 percent increase in the base over the second quarter of 2012 and a 7.1 percent increase over the third quarter of 2011. As of Sept. 30, 2012, the base of registered names in .com equalled 105 million names, while .net equalled 14.9 million names.New .com and .net registrations totalled 7.8 million during the third quarter of 2012. This is a 1.1 percent year-over-year decrease in new registrations. The .com/.net renewal rate for the third quarter of 2012 was 72.5 percent, slightly down from 72.9 percent for the second quarter of 2012.For country code TLDs (ccTLDs), growth continues to exceed that of the big two generic TLDs (.com and .net). There were 104.9 million registered ccTLD domains at the end of the third quarter, a 4.6 percent increase quarter over quarter, and a 20.7 percent increase year over year.The order of the top TLDs in terms of zone size changed slightly when compared to the second quarter, as .cn (China) moved up two rankings from the tenth largest TLD to the eighth largest TLD, resulting in .nl (Netherlands) and .ru (Russian Federation) moving down one ranking each, respectively. All other TLDs in the top 10 maintained their rankings.The largest TLDs in order by base size* were .com, .de (Germany – 15.3 million registrations), .net (14.9m), .tk (Tokelau), .uk (United Kingdom 10.2m), .org (10.1m), .info (7.2m), .cn (China – 8.7m), .nl (Netherlands – 5.1m) and .ru (Russian Federation – 4.2m). Among ccTLDs the top ten was completed by .eu (European Union – 3.7m), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia 2.6m) and .ar (Argentina)Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the third quarter of 2012 was 67 billion with a peak of 102 billion. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average decreased 1.3 percent and the peak increased 14.1 percent.The report also has a section on “combating DDOS attacks in the cloud” that gives five key elements to consider, these being centralising data gathering and understand trends, defining a clear escalation path, using layered filtering, reviewing and optimising DNS performance and addressing application and configuration issues.To download the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief, go to www.verisigninc.com/en_US/why-verisign/research-trends/domain-name-industry-brief/index.xhtml.* statistics used were from Verisign’s Domain Name Industry Brief for .com and .net, from RegistrarStats for other gTLDs and latest statistics from registry websites for ccTLDs where available.