Tag Archives: France

Franco-Dutch Research Project To Study Domain Name Abuse

SIDN Labs, Afnic Labs and Grenoble Alps University have commenced a new research project on the “Classification of compromised versus maliciously registered domains” (COMAR).

The Franco-Dutch project, which commenced on 1 October, will address the problem of automatically distinguishing between domain names registered by cybercriminals for the purpose of malicious activities, and domain names exploited through vulnerable web applications. The project is designed to help intermediaries such as registrars and ccTLD registries further optimise their anti-abuse processes.

AFNIC logoThe ultimate goal of COMAR is to develop a machine learning-based classifier that labels blacklisted domains as compromised or maliciously registered, then extensively evaluate its accuracy, and implement it for a production-level environment. They also plan to study the attackers’ profit-maximising behaviour and their business models. The project will apply a classifier to unlabelled domain names of URL blacklists, for example, to answer the following question: do attackers prefer to register malicious domains, compromise vulnerable websites, or misuse domains of legitimate services such as cloud-based file-sharing services in their criminal activities?

COMAR is a joint project of SIDN Labs, Afnic Labs, and Grenoble Alps University. SIDN is the country code top level domain (ccTLD) registry for .nl, Afnic for .fr and Grenoble Alps University is aiming to establish itself as a leading cybersecurity research centre in the Rhône-Alpes region in France.

For more information on the research project, see:
https://www.sidnlabs.nl/a/weblog/new-franco-dutch-research-project-on-automatic-classification-of-domain-name-abuse

.BR Hits 4 Million Domain Name Registrations

Brazil’s ccTLD manager, NIC.br, announced [Portuguese only] Monday they’ve reached the 4 million registrations mark after ‘more than 25 years of flawless operation’.

There are over 120 second level domains under which .br domain names can be registered from blog.br and wiki.br for individuals to eng.br and adv.br for liberal professionals, tv.br and tur.br for legal persons, rio.br, sampa.br and curitiba.br for cities those reserved for specific purposes such as gov.br, jus.br, b.br and org.br among others. Some of these have as few as 10 registrations, while the largest, com.br has 3,645,125 accounting for 91.2% of all registrations.

According to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief, .br is the seventh largest country code top level domain (ccTLD). Verisign already had .br at 4 million domain name registrations at the end of 30 June, probably through rounding, up in this case, to the nearest hundred thousand. China’s ccTLD was the largest with 22.7 million followed by Tokelau’s free .tk (21.5m), Germany’s .de (16.3m), the United Kingdom’s .uk (12.0m), Russia’s .ru (5.9m), the Netherlands’ .nl (5.8m). Following .br is the European Union’s .eu (3.8m), France’s .fr (3.2m) and rounding out the top 10 is Italy’s .it (3.1m).

Revenues from .br registrations allow NIC.br to, in addition to providing and maintaining the infrastructure behind .br, invest in a series of actions and projects that generate benefits and improvements to the internet infrastructure in Brazil. These include the operation of internet traffic exchange points, which promote the interconnection of networks that form the Internet in Brazil, reducing distances and costs; the handling security incidents and tracking internet statistics.

Nic.br notes that other advantages of registering .br domain names include additional security features, such as token and encryption, that strengthen both the accounts of Registro.br users, and their respective domains. There is another recent feature: a redirection feature that lets you point a .br domain to any URL, whether it’s on a website or the preferred channel on social networks, keeping identities and active tags on the Internet permanently. Servers distributed by Brazil and other regions of the world guarantee speed and reliability in the resolution of .br and a team exclusively dedicated to meet and assist users in their doubts complete the description.

Global Domain Registrations Climb Up, But .NET and New gTLDs Slide Down: Verisign

Global domain name registrations continue to rise, with approximately 332.4 million registrations at the end of 2017 across all top level domains, according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief out today. The increase for the fourth quarter was approximately 1.7 million domain names, or 0.5%, from the third quarter and 3.1 million, or 0.9%, year over year.

Within this slight increase there are notable declines – that of .net which declined to 14.5 million at the end of December from 15.0 million at the end of the third quarter and 15.3 million at the end of 2016. Five years ago at the end of 2012 there were 14.9 million .net registrations.

There was also a decline in the total number of new generic top level domains (new gTLDs) registrations. Among the new gTLDs there were approximately 20.6 million registrations, or 6.2% of total registrations across all TLDs. This was a decrease of approximately 0.5 million registrations, or 2.4% for the quarter, and approximately 5.0 million registrations (19.5%) year over year. The top 10 ngTLDs represented 48.9% of all new gTLD registrations.

But of course there were increases. The big behemoth, .com, saw registrations rise to 131.9 million at the end of 2017 compared to 130.8 million 3 months earlier, 126.9 million 12 months ago and 106.2 million at the end of 2012.

Total country code top level domain (ccTLD) registrations were approximately 146.1 million, a 1.0% increase over the third quarter of 2017, and a 2.4% increase year over year. Registrations at the end of the third quarter of 2017 were 144.7 million, 142.7 million 12 months ago and 110.2 million 5 years ago when the 12 month growth rate for ccTLDs was 21.6% in 12 months.

Without including .tk, ccTLD registrations increased approximately 0.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 0.5% increase compared to the third quarter of 2017 and ccTLDs increased by approximately 2.3 million registrations, or 1.8%, year over year.

The top 10 ccTLDs as of 31 December were .cn (China), .tk (Tokelau), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .br (Brazil), .eu (European Union), .fr (France) and .au (Australia). As of the end of 2017, there were 302 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 65.5 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totalled 9.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 8.8 million for the fourth quarter in 2016 and 8.0 million 5 years earlier in 2012.

French Railways Say OUI.SNCF

The French railway operator SNCF launched their new home online this week with their home page now oui.sncf. SNCF is one of the most prominent brands to make the switch to a new gTLD, particularly in Europe. The previous home of SNCF online, voyages-sncf.com, now redirects to the new domain name. The launch is part of a major rebranding which includes new social media pages including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

There are currently 7 domain names registered, 3 of them parked, under the new generic top level domain according to nTLDstats.com with SNCF using the .fr registry provider Afnic for backend registry services.

The change is part of a massive transformation that the railway operator hopes will see an additional 15 million customers per year by 2020, a five-fold growth in low fare passengers, a €1.5 billion investment in rolling stock and a €300 investment in on-board WiFi. The change is to counter the growth of low-cost airlines and bus services. The new low-cost TGV services will become OUIGO. The rebranding of the TGV service will commenced with the Paris-Bordeaux route on 2 July.

The rebranding of Voyages-SNCF.com to use a new generic top level domain will certainly raise awareness in France of the new gTLDs as most French people will use their national railways. One quarter of all French SNCF tickets are sold through the website. Under voyages-sncf.com there are 14 websites in 6 languages.

French Railway Operator to Switch to New gTLD .SNCF

The French national railway, SNCF, is rebranding its subsidiary that sells railway tickets and passes, and which is France’s largest e-commerce site, to use their new gTLD by autumn 2017. The new top level domain will be .sncf with the home page being oui.sncf. The current website uses the voyages-sncf.com domain name.

The change is part of a massive transformation that the railway operator hopes will see an addition 15 million customers per year by 2020, a five-fold growth in low fare passengers, a €1.5 billion investment in rolling stock and a €300 investment in on-board WiFi. The change is to counter the growth of low-cost airlines and bus services The new low-cost TGV services will become OUIGO. The rebranding of the TGV service will commence with the Paris-Bordeaux route on 2 July.

The rebranding of Voyages-SNCF.com to use a new generic top level domain will certainly raise awareness in France of the new gTLDs as most French people will use their national railways. One quarter of all French SNCF tickets are sold through the website. Under voyages-sncf.com there are 14 websites in 6 languages.

 

Mathieu Weill Steps Down As Afnic CEO After 12 Years

Mathieu Weill, the CEO of the French ccTLD registry Afnic, will be stepping down as of 1 May. In an announcement today on the website for the French country code top level domain, it notes he “has been appointed to other duties as from 1 May 2017.”

In his place as of 1 May the current deputy CEO, Pierre Bonis, will take on the role of Acting CEO while a search is undertaken to replace Weill.

The announcement comes just days after Afnic announced it has been awarded the right to operate .fr for another 5 years.

Weill was appointed CEO of Afnic in July 2005. During that time, according to Weill’s LinkedIn profile, .fr has grown from 300,000 to 3 million domains under management, improved customer satisfaction and technical performance, contributed to and implemented a complete rewrite of the legal and regulatory environment, acquired customers for 17 new gTLDs, launched the Afnic Foundationfor Digital Inclusion and led a full review of legislation and regulations for the domain sector.

He has also been a co-chair of the working group on enhancing ICANN's Accountability since 2014 and undertaken numerous other activities, mostly within Europe.

Marking the departure of Weill, the Afnic Board of Directors unanimously hailed the work he has accomplished since 2005 as head of the association in a statement on their website.

Mathieu Weill's work resulted in strong growth for Afnic during that period according to the statement, enabling the association to enhance its expertise, diversify its activities, and gain broader recognition both in France and on the international market. Mathieu Weill successfully oversaw those major changes by involving both the staff of the association and all of its stakeholders.

Afnic's Board of Directors will launch a call for candidates for the position of CEO and will select one or more independent firms of consultants to support it in the open process.

 

Afnic Awarded Contract To Run .FR For 5 More Years

Afnic has been awarded the right to operate the .fr ccTLD for another 5 years, the registry announced.

In December 2016 .fr passed the 3 million domain name registrations mark, just days after the Italian country code top level domain, .it, passed the same mark.

In a decree dated 5 April 2017 published in the Official Journal of the French Republic, Mr. Christophe Sirugue, French Minister of State for Industry, the Digital Sector and Innovation, has appointed Afnic as the Registry for the .fr TLD for a term of 5 years from 25 June 2017.

“We are delighted by this decision which rewards the commitment and work of the teams and members of Afnic, who have allowed us to meet our commitments to make .fr a secure, simple and competitive namespace. With growth close to 30% since 2012, the .fr is one of the 4 most dynamic TLD suffixes in Europe and ranks as one of the top 10 in top-level domains worldwide. The .fr now represents a community of more than 3 million online successes,” said Mathieu Weill, Afnic CEO.

Afnic will continue to promote the .fr as a key partner in ensuring the online presence of SOHOs / SMEs, supporting digital solidarity and making the voice of France heard at the international level.

For the next 5 years, Afnic has set itself the goal of helping the one million French SOHOs / SMEs still absent from the Internet get on-line. Since 2012, the Réussir-en.fr program has been helping them begin their digital transformation and develop their online presence with business diagnostics, tools and practical advice.

A non-profit association committed to combat digital exclusion, Afnic donates most of the profits from .fr to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity, created in 2015, which financed 35 projects throughout France as of its first operating year in 2016.

 

.FR: Another ccTLD Reaches The 3 Million Club

A week or so after the Italian ccTLD .it reached three million registrations, the French ccTLD reached the same milestone.

afnic-3-million-fr-registrations-french-imageIt means the French country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), today with 3,005,270 registrations, is probably the tenth largest ccTLD behind .it given the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief for the end of June, discounting .tk (Tokelau) due to it giving away its domain names and the large amount of phishing spam and scams using the ccTLD’s domains.

The .fr grew by 2.1% in 2016 and the registry says simplicity, attractiveness and trust are the main reasons for its success.

“Registering a .fr domain name is one of the keys to a successful online presence for companies and individuals alike,” said Mathieu Weill, Afnic CEO. “To support the development of their business on the Internet, Afnic has set up the Réussir-en.fr program (réussir-en.fr), and intends to continue its efforts to make France a European leader in online presence.”

.fr domain names are available for registration to any person or business with a mailing address in the European Union.

Afnic donates 90% of the profits generated by .fr to its Foundation for Digital Inclusion(fondation-afnic.fr) which funds field projects to make the Internet accessible to the greatest number of people and to reduce digital exclusion throughout France.

Afnic Steps Out Of .FR Domain Name Transfers

AFNIC logoThe .fr registry will no longer have a formal involvement in domain name transfers as of 12 December.

The simplification in rules will see transfers of domain names only requiring the involvement of registrants and their registrars, and additionally Afnic will no longer require a payment to them for the procedure.

The new version of the Naming Policy is available from:
https://www.afnic.fr/en/resources/reference/charters/naming-policy-in-force-9.html

Following Brexit, Future Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of British-Registered Domains In Doubt

The future of hundreds of thousands of domain names are in doubt following the UK’s “Brexit” referendum where Britons decided to leave the European Union. The TLD to be most impacted is .eu which has 294,000 registrations to individuals and companies in the UK out of a total of 3.82 million registrations, according to the latest EURid quarterly report. Along with .eu, .it and .fr among others require registrants to be based in the European Union or from the European Economic Area.The future of these domain names has been addressed in a discussion paper published by the German internet association, eco, called “Brexit – Challenges for the Domain Industry?“.So assuming the Brexit happens in a few years, what happens to the affected domain names? And also to the registrars in other European countries who have customers based in the UK?The eco discussion paper notes there has already been a change in behaviour with registrars observing a drop-off in registration numbers.”With our paper and the opening of a discussion forum, we would like to contribute to making the impact of Brexit clear and understandable for companies and customers, as well as – on the basis of expert knowledge – contributing towards the rapid creation of legal certainty for all those involved,” said lawyer Thomas Rickert, Leader of the eco Names & Numbers Forum.Looking to the future the paper presents five options for how the problem is likely to be addressed. They also take into consideration that a bilateral agreement between the EU and the UK could potentially be made that includes domain registrations and prevents an interim depletion in registrations. The options are a suspension of registrations ordered by the European Commission, a grandfathering for existing registrations, all registrations could be revoked, the use of proxy registration services and finally, that the UK stays in the European Economic Area. Stay tuned!To download the eco paper, Brexit – Challenges for the Domain Industry?, in full, go to:
https://numbers.eco.de/wp-content/blogs.dir/21/files/20160729_brexit_challenges_for_the_domain_industry.pdf