New registrations among European ccTLDs slowed during 2021, but so did deletions and registrar transfers, which meant growth was positive, according to the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report released this week.
Verisign ended the second quarter of 2021 with 170.6 million .com and .net domain name registrations in the domain name base, a 5.2% increase in 12 months, and a net increase of 2.59 million during the second quarter of 2021, according to the company’s second quarter 201 results.
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