Verisign reported its fourth quarter and 2020 financial results Thursday and the highlight that will get most attention is the increase in the annual registry-level wholesale fee for each new and renewal .com domain name, which will increase by 7%, from $7.85 to $8.39, effective 1 September, 2021.
The second quarter of 2020 saw global domain name registrations continue to rise, with an increase of 3.3 million, or 0.9%. This took total registrations around the world to 370.1 million as the global COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc.
Verisign announced last week they are extending the registry fee waiver, the one-time wholesale restore fee charged to restore to active status of a domain name registration which has been deleted by a registrar, for all their top-level domains including .com and .net, until 1 August.
Facebookâs announcement of their new Libra cryptocurrency in mid-June had a big impact on .com and .net domain name registrations with âlibraâ topping the top 10 trending keywords in English registered in June for both top-level domains.
âCurrencyâ also made it into the .com top 10 while gambling-related keywords had an impact on .net keywords with âcasinoâ, âbetâ and âpokerâ.
For May âcouponsâ and âcouponâ topped the .com top 10.
The top 10 trending keywords for .com and .net registered in June 2019 were:
The top 10 trending keywords for .com and .net registered in May 2019 were:
There were 6 keywords that related to drug addiction and rehabilitation on Verisignâs top 10 list of trending keywords for .com in April: rehab, drug, centers, alcohol, treatment and addiction. But not one of these keywords made it to the .net list.
With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, Verisign note there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. In the past there has been a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.
This monthâs list of the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during April are below:
In the first quarter of 2019, Spamhaus Malware Labs has observed an upswing in the number of fraudulent domain name registrations in .ug (Uganda) and .ng (Nigeria).
But it is the number of fraudulent registrations in .ug that has caught their eye and they note they have “gone through the roof”. In February 2019, 35% of all domain names within .ug that Spamhaus observed were registered for the sole purpose of hosting a botnet controller (C&C).
Digging deeper Spamhaus discovered a single bulletproof hosting outfit is connected to these domain registrations which is selling its services on underground sites and the dark web.
The setup is simple: They register a .ug domain name for their customer with the operator i3c.co.ug and use a Chinese based DNS provider DNSPod (Tencent). From a cybercriminalâs perspective, Spamhaus explain this has a big advantage: Both i3c.co.ug and DNSPod are exceptionally slow to investigate abuse reports, thatâs if they are investigated at all. This makes a cybercriminalâs botnet C&C infrastructure almost 100% bulletproof to takedown requests.
To sort the problem Spamhaus is trying to work together with both i3c.co.uh and DNSPod to resolve this issue. While communication between these operators can be challenging these efforts are starting to pay off, with the percentage of fraudulent .ug domain registrations has reduced to 29% from the 35%.
In the first three months of this year, Spamhaus observed significant changes in the malware thatâs associated with botnet Command & Control (C&C) servers, most notably a preference for cybercriminals to utilise crimeware kits.
The 2 top-level domains leading the way when it comes to those associated with botnet C&Cs continue to be .com (2,920 domains) and .uk (United Kingdom â 1,503). Following in the first quarter was .tk (Tokelau â 448), .net (436) and .ga (Gabon â 414). .ug came in 15th place with 100 while among the new gTLDs .xyz was 13th (149) and .icu was 16th (82).
However, thereâs no change when it came to the most abused hosting provider: Cloudflare. Register.com (1,137), Namecheap (757), Network Solutions/Web.com (742), Indiaâs PDR (664), Reg.ru (315) and NameSilo (311) were easily the registrars with the most abusive domain name registrations.
When Spamhaus looked at the number of newly detected botnet Command & Controllers (C&C), as a result of fraudulent sign-ups, they found the upward trend detected in 2018 is continuing into 2019.
In 2018 the number of botnet C&Cs identified from fraudulent sign-ups lifted 176% from 276 per month in January to 762 per month in December. The monthly average across 2018 was 530 botnet controller listings (BCL) per month.
In the first quarter of 2019 Spamhaus observed another significant step-up in numbers across the first three months of this year. The number of newly detected botnet C&Cs reached 1,281 in March 2019, an additional 519 botnet C&Cs compared to December 2018âs figures. Meanwhile, the monthly average in 2019 has increased by 110% to 1,113 per month. Spamhaus found no change in the location of botnet C&C traffic. The number one geolocation for botnet C&Cs remains the United States, followed by Russia and the Netherlands.
There are probably now over 157 million .com and .net domain names registered around the world and registrations can reflect global and/or American trends, events and/or news. So Verisign release a list of the top trending keywords in English each month for the 2 generic top level domains. For February, the top keywords in each of the gTLDs were âworldsâ and âapexâ respectively. Apex also managed to figure highly in the .com list, coming in second.
Verisignâs list of the top 10 trending keywords registered in February 2019 are below:
Click here to see other domain tre
GGRG Brokerage Consulting has published the eleventh edition of their Liquid Domains Overview (LXDO), which focuses on the 614,928 .com domains we call âliquidâ. The latest report, covering the fourth quarter of 2018, once again found the most developed categories are 2Ls (letters) .com domain names, followed by 3Ls and 2Cs (characters). The report shows the least developed categories are numeric domains led by the 5Ns (numbers), followed by 4Ns and the 3Ns.
The objective of the LXDO report is to present key statistics and generate a debate amongst the industry stakeholders about the fair value of such domains.
The report found 2018 ended with a reversal of trends from the second and third quarters, with China gaining about 22,500 domains (+3.67%) and controlling about one-third of all the liquid domains, especially numerics. Once again, the largest movement in ownership came from domains going from public to private. Private domains now represent 38% of all liquid domains. This is a continued trend since the inception of GDPR in the second quarter (May 2018), which caused the number of liquid domains under privacy to almost double in less than one year. 2Ns and 3Ns have the most private registrations with over 50% of each category having masked WHOIS data. There is also an observed correlation between average domain value and number of domains under privacy.
The US controls 17% of the liquid domains, while Europe and the rest of the world excluding China, account for 10% combined. 4Ls .com domains registered a record $8.6M in Escrow.com transactions, by far the best result since the publication of this report. The second largest Escrow.com domain sales volume belongs to the 3Ls, with almost $5M in transactions; followed by the 4Ns which registered one of their strongest quarters with $2.7M in escrow.com sales. There was no Escrow.com data available for 2Ls, 2Ns, 2Cs, and 3Ns, but ShortNames records a disclosed 2 letter .com transaction of $700,000. ShortNames also shows $1 million in public 5N transactions, which is consistent with 2018 sales volumes.
The 5th percentile values continue to show single- and double-digits losses. 5Ns saw the worst performance, declining 11.63%, followed by the 3Ls (10.62%). 3Cs also recorded a significant loss of 7.53%. The notable exception was the 4Ls which appear to have bottomed in the prior quarter. The category registered a 12.37% 5th percentile increase, effectively bouncing back from the $100 support level (last quarter the value was $97) and reaching the $109 5th percentile level over 1,800 disclosed transactions. Median prices do not show any significant variation, with the notable exception of 3Cs which show a 61% increase.
Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2019, the LXDO report notes it is normally a slow quarter for Liquid Domains due to the reduced activity from China due to the Chinese New Year. Unless there are large end user transactions, GGRG forecasts a slow beginning to 2019. It will be interesting to observe whether the 4 letter’s 5th percentile values will stay above the $100 support or whether they will continue the general declining trend of other liquid categories.
GGRG’s Q4 2018 LXDO report is available for download in full from:
The internet is increasingly playing a part in the lives of Belgians with growing numbers enjoying the freedom it gives them, go online for entertainment and feel the internet is an essential part of their daily lives. But only 1 in 20 Belgians have ever registered a domain name.
This is all part of research conducted by InSites Consulting on behalf of DNS Belgium, the .be ccTLD registry, at the end of 2018. The research found trust is important for Belgian internet users, and .be domain names score high on that front.
When asked what were the most important factors when it comes to trusting a domain name, Belgians responded:
- Language of the domain name
- Extension of the domain name
- The brand of the domain name
- Length of the domain name.
When it came to trusting a website, an encrypted connection (https) was considered the most important, a .be domain name second and a company logo third.
When asked if theyâve ever registered at least one domain name, 5% of Belgians said they had while 95% said not. 60% understood the concept of domain names while one third (35%) said theyâd consider registering a domain name in the future, the remainder said they wouldnât.
For the top level domains Belgians register domain names in, 77% said their own country code top level domain .be, 30% said .com, 16% said .net and 13% said .eu. Following was their neighbour .nl (Netherlands – 8%), .org (7%), .fr (France – 4%), .brussels (2%), .london (1%) and others accounted for 9%.
When it comes to the reasons for registering a domain name, 43% of Belgians said for a website, 40% for website and email and 6% just email.
It also appears Belgians are registering domain names sooner in the process of developing a business or idea with 42% saying they registered a domain name âdirectly at the time of the ideaâ compared to 23% in 2017, 11% âwhen the business is launchedâ (11% in 2017) and 23% after the start (30% in 2017).
Awareness was highest with .be and .com, with both scoring awareness among over 90% of Belgians (94% and 92% respectively) while .vlaanderen and .brussels scored 27% and 19% respectively.
Belgians said they valued the freedom and entertainment the internet offered them with 70% saying they loved the freedom the internet gives them (up from 59% in 2017), 68% said they go online at home for entertainment (57% in 2017) and 67% said they âfeel the internet is an essential part of their daily livesâ (47% in 2017).
Belgians say they surf safely online with almost two thirds (64%) saying they ânever surf to untrustworthy sitesâ while half (50%) âare concerned with safe internet useâ and a quarter (25%) âare aware of the latest online security toolsâ.