Tom Kleiber, a 53 year old ICT veteran, has been named today to take over as Managing Director of SWITCH, which among other roles manages Switzerland’s ccTLD .ch and Liechtenstein’s .li. Kleiber will succeed Andreas Dudler who is stepping down after nine years as Managing Director and retiring at the end of 2021. Kleiber will take up his new post on 1 January 2021.
The number of incidents of cybercrime on websites using .ch (Switzerland) and .li (Liechtenstein) domains decreased in 2015 while there was an increase in the number of phishing attacks on Swiss companiesâ websites with other domain endings, the SWITCH Foundation, which operates the registry for both ccTLDs, announced.
According to the cybercrime report, âSWITCH took action to remove malware from 698 .ch and .li websites in 2015, down from 1,839 in 2014. The situation as regards phishing was more or less stable: 329 .ch and .li websites were affected, compared with 323 in 2014. Meanwhile, there was an increase in the number of phishing attacks on Swiss companiesâ websites with other domain endings.â
âCybercriminals are driven by money. We are quick in identifying domain misuse and acting to stop it, so attacking Swiss websites is becoming less and less worthwhile,â explains SWITCH security expert Serge Droz.
Droz sees new challenges where phishing is concerned.
âPhishing attacks did not focus solely on banks in Switzerland last year, they were primarily targeted at online shops. Our goal for 2016 is to be even more efficient in dealing with phishing. Since we can only have a direct influence on .ch and .li, we are all the more dependent on cooperation with colleagues in Switzerland and abroad when it comes to other domain endings.â
For more on the SWITCH cybercrime report, see:
The growth rate for the 248 ccTLDs around the world has been higher than that for the 21 legacy gTLDs in the three months to the end of August according to the latest CENTR DomainWire report.
The number of domains registered across all ccTLDs was 129,388,192, an increase of 1.7 percent over the three months, not including internationalised domain ccTLDs, which themselves grew by the even higher rate of 2.9 percent to 1,244,863.
Meanwhile the 21 legacy gTLDs saw growth of 0.3 percent to 148,807,739. Meanwhile, as would be expected, registrations across all the new gTLDs grew significantly across the three months â growing a total of 139.8 percent to 2,070,244.
In total, according to the ZookNIC statistics used by CENTR, there was a total of 282,526,140 domains registered across all TLDs, an increase of 1.3 percent in three months.
Among the ccTLDs, growth was highest with the largest, .tk (Tokelau) which saw registrations of its free domains grow 8.6 percent to 26.0 million. No other ccTLD saw growth of over two percent, but five saw registrations of 1.0 percent or more. They were .cn (China) with growth of 1.8 percent to 10.8 million registrations, followed by .eu (European Union â 1.5% – 3.8m), .ch (Switzerland â 1.2% – 1.9m), .br (Brazil â 1.2% – 3.5m) and .au (Australia â 1.0% – 2.9m).
The 20 largest ccTLDs accounted for around 82 percent of all ccTLD domains registered globally and 38 percent of all domains.
Within Europe there were almost 66.5 million ccTLD domains registered at the end of August, a growth rate of 0.3 percent for the quarter and 2.8 percent for the year.
The report also notes the countries with the highest domain name penetration. Liechtenstein tops this list with 176 ccTLD domains registered per 100 people, followed by Montenegro with 117, boosted by their .me ccTLD being promoted as a gTLD. The Netherlands and Switzerland followed with 33 and 24 respectively, then Denmark (23), Germany (19) and the United Kingdom (17).
The report also looked at registrar security and authentication. CENTR asked over 100 registrars, web hosting companies, ISPs and other IT related organisations for their thoughts on some specific areas of security management. The aim of the survey was to gather views on how to increase the security level access to their web portals as well as to evaluate the need for a greater emphasis on two-factor authentication and other security features.
The survey found that 90 percent of respondents are not aware of any situation where leaked credentials have led to an attacker modifying DNS or related data. This left 10% who have experienced this type of incident. Almost 70 percent of all respondents stated an attack of this kind would be a major impact on either the entire or part of the organisation.
To download the CENTR report in full, go to:
It may have a reputation for being one of the TLDs with the most phishing domains, but the number of .tk (Tokelau) domain names under management continues to soar. Registrations grew by 13.9 percent in the quarter ending August, according to the latest Centr DomainWire StatReport, with total registrations reaching 19.1 million for the ccTLD whose domain names are given away for free.The report notes .de (Germany) continues to progressively grow and maintain its second place with 15.5m DUM while .uk (United Kingdom) comes in third with 10.6m. But .cn (China) continues to rapidly grow, again, and is now back to 7.8m.Within Europe, at the end of August 2013 there were just over 65.1m DUM while over the past 12 months, overall net growth is 5.9 percent – an increase of around 3.6m. The largest contribution to the increase came from .ru with 780,000.The ccTLDs with the largest growth rate within Europe were .me (Montenegro) where registrations grew by 5.2 percent in the quarter ending August, followed by .ru (Russian Federation – 4.1%), Cyprus (.cy – 3.8%), .pt (Portugal – 3.4%) and then .is (Iceland – 2.9%).The report also shows the number of domain names per person. This statistic is skewed by how the ccTLD is marketed, with .me ranking highly due to it being marketed more as a gTLD. The Centr report shows that .li (Liechtenstein) has the highest penetration with 181 domains per 100 people for the 37,000 people in the country, followed by .me with 116. Then follows .nl (Netherlands – 32), .ch (Switzerland – 23), .dk (Denmark – 22), .de (19) and then .uk (17).The report also notes that growth rates in European ccTLDs have slowed over the past 12 months. The growth rate for the year to August 2013 was 5.9 percent (compared to the 12 months to April 2012 whose growth rate was 6.6 percent) but this was on average 2.5 percent higher than for gTLDs globally. The average monthly growth of all European ccTLDs is 0.47 percent. Globally the number of ccTLD registrations grew by one percentage point in the 12 months to August 2013, while gTLDs share dropped by the corresponding percentage point.Marketing is also looked at in the report, with how ccTLDs are marketed. Registries use traditional as well as new marketing tools, as shows the below graph which is based on a June 2013 survey amongst CENTR members. The same survey shows that a large majority of the registries have, or are developing, a formal marketing plan. The traditional ‘offline’ channels such as printed media, TV and radio are used by several registries while others cooperate with registrars with sponsorship arrangements and co-marketing initiatives and programmes.The report is available for download from centr.org/system/files/share/domainwire_stat_report_2013_2.pdf.
SWITCH, the registry for the .li and .ch ccTLDs, is withdrawing the option for .li (the ccTLD for Liechtenstein) registrants to register .li domain names with them directly as of 14 February 2013. The move means that registrants will need to transfer their .li domain names as of this date to its accredited registrars, or as it calls them, âPartners.â
Up until now, it has been possible to register .li domain names directly with SWITCH or with one of more than 60 recognised Partners of SWITCH. The change has no impact on .ch (Switzerland) domains. Whether any similar change occurs to .ch domains is in the hands of OFCOM and the Swiss legislator. However SWITCH note they are not aware of any plans in this respect.
The SWITCH Foundation has taken the decision to discontinue its direct customer business with .li domain names. The current model with SWITCH as a registry and provider is no longer appropriate for the market the organisation believes.
“SWITCH has successfully built up the direct customer market over the past eight years. And more than 60 recognised Partners of SWITCH now ensure properly functioning competition. SWITCH is thus withdrawing from this market,” adds Andreas Dudler, managing director of SWITCH. This move has been coordinated with the Liechtenstein Office of Communication.
Leading up to the change, all registrants of .li domains that use SWITCH as their registrar will be informed of the change in writing and will be invited to transfer their domain names to a partner of their choice by 13 February 2013. If customers fail to do anything, their .li domain names will be automatically transferred to switchplus on 14 February 2013. switchplus is a recognised Partner and subsidiary of SWITCH. A subsequent transfer to a different Partner is possible at any time. SWITCH is making sure that all customers are able to select a new service provider and is ensuring the interruption-free operation of .li domain names.
SWITCH is continuing to act as the registry on behalf of the Office of Communication of the Principality of Liechtenstein and will ensure that .li domain names operate reliably and are available round the clock all over the world. SWITCH will additionally be supporting the more than 60 recognised Partners.
For more information, see:
[news release] In its fight against malware, SWITCH is demanding that the holders and operators of infected websites remove the malicious code within 24 hours. Thanks to this measure, a total of 1052 Swiss websites have already had the dangerous drive-by code removed from them in 2012.Â
According to the latest quarterly report published by security firm, Panda Security, 32 percent of computers worldwide were infected with malware in 2012, somewhat fewer than the year before (38 percent). Switzerland is No. 1 worldwide with the lowest infection rate. Malware takes in malicious software such as viruses, worms and Trojans. Once websites are infected with malicious code, they can install malware on the PC unnoticed by site operators and visitors. It is frequently enough to just call up a manipulated website. In order to protect Internet users from precisely this danger, SWITCH has been pursuing the aim of having infected .ch and .li websites cleaned up as rapidly as possible since the end of 2010. Hence, a total of 2828 affected websites were rendered harmless between January 2011 and July 2012 (see graph).
Security in the Internet has top priority for SWITCH. “We see on a daily basis how cyber criminals repeatedly find new loopholes allowing them to infect websites with so-called drive-by infections”, explains Dr. Serge Droz, Head of the Security Division of SWITCH. “That is why it is essential for operators to clean up infected websites quickly.”
A unique process anywhere in the world
In its fight against malware, SWITCH demands that the holders and operators of infected websites remove malicious code within 24 hours. For each suspicious website, SWITCH’s Security Division checks whether calling up the site can lead to a computer becoming infected. The source code of the website is examined to this end. If SWITCH finds malicious code, the holder and operator of the domain name will be informed. If it does not prove possible to contact the domain owner or a competent system administrator, SWITCH will block the domain name in order to protect Internet users, which means that the website in question can no longer be reached. If the holder also fails to respond to the website being blocked, SWITCH will demand that the holder identify himself/herself within 30 days by means of a certificate of place of residence, or an excerpt from the Commercial Register. If this identification is not forthcoming, the domain name will be deleted.
To download the “Quarterly Report PandaLabs, April-June 2012” click here. [PDF]
As a non-profit organisation, SWITCH guarantees Switzerlandâs access to the Internet. One hundred employees work on a daily basis on further developing web technologies, facilitating the exchange of knowledge between Swiss universities and increasing the security of the Internet in Switzerland. In 2012, the Internet service provider with its head office in Zurich will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.
This SWITCH news release was sourced from:
The Montenegrin ccTLD .ME is the fastest growing of all European ccTLDs while there are there are roughly 59 million domain names registered in Europe the latest Centr DomainWire Stat Report shows.The report for the first half of 2012 contains a wealth of statistics including that 40 per cent of all domain names registered in Europe are for private purposes while 60 per cent are for business.There is also the average length of a domain name – 11.2 characters.The ccTLD with the highest number of domain names per person in Europe is.LI (Lichtenstein) with 192 domains per 100 people living in the country followed by .ME with 86 domains per 100 people. Third is .NL (Netherlands), which is the first of the larger ccTLDs with 28 domains per 100 people. Rounding out the top ten are .CH (Switzerland – 28), .DK (Denmark – 21), .DE (Germany – 18), .UK (United Kingdom – 16) and then .AT (Austria), .LU (Luxembourg) and .SE (Sweden), each with 13 domains registered per 100 inhabitants.The report also lists the top 20 ccTLDs globally using figures as of the end of April. The top ten are .DE first with over 15 million registrations, followed by .UK (10.09m), .NL (4.92), .RU (Russian Federation – 3.79), .EU (European Union – 3.60), .CN (China – 3.35), .BR (Brazil – 2.89), .AR (Argentina – 2.49), .AU (Australia – 2.40) and .IT (Italy – 2.39).To download the Centr report and check out many more statistics including on domain name renewal rates and world internet usage, go to https://www.centr.org/DomainWire_Stat_Report_2012_1.
The registry for .CH (Switzerland) and .LI (Lichtenstein), SWITCH, is warning of bogus offers to register domain names at vastly inflated prices.
SWITCH is advising that anyone receiving an offer by phone or email regarding the registration of .CH and .LI domain names should be careful. The scam involves a company being contacted and offered domain names that may be related to their existing domain names.
SWITCH give the example of a customer that has already registered the company.ch domain name. Someone then contacts that customer, misrepresenting the facts and offering to register similar names, such as company-ltd.ch, for them, saying that they must register the name(s) immediately. The customer is put under pressure and has to take a swift decision.
SWITCH regards aggressive methods such as these as unfair advertising. Anyone who feels that they have been a victim of unfair advertising can lodge a complaint with the Swiss advertising standards committee (Lauterkeitskommission) at www.lauterkeit.ch.
To register a .CH or .LI domain name, check out Europe Registry here.