Tag Archives: SWITCH

Domain Pulse Conference on 18 and 19 February in Davos

SWITCH is extending an invitation to the specialist “Domain pulse” conference – the most important event dedicated to domain names in the German-speaking world – which is being held in Davos on 18 and 19 February.In the spotlight: new generic Top Level Domains (new gTLD)
Do the new endings like .swiss, .app or .shop mean that we are heading for a revolution in the web? In what way will the Internet change? At the World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) in December 2012, a large number of Western countries refused to sign the agreement as a protest. Find out what happens next from the viewpoint of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Nigel Hickson, Vice President Europe of ICANN, will be speaking at the conference. The focus of the specialist papers presented will also be on Switzerland as one of the most secure Internet locations in the world. Domain pulse – a joint event staged by the registries for Austria (nic.at), Germany (DENIC) and Switzerland (SWITCH) – offers the best opportunity for catching up on social, political and economic topics from the world of domain names.Date: 18 and 19 February 2013
Where: Congress Centre Davos, Talstrasse 49a, 7270 Davos PlatzBackground: new generic Top Level Domains (new gTLD)
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) which is responsible for the international coordination of the Internet addressing system, took the decision in June 2011 to introduce new generic top-level Internet domains (new gTLD). From January 2012 to May 2012, it was possible to submit applications for any other generic domain names. ICANN regards the new gTLD as a further development of the domain name market, serving to make content and brands more visible in the Internet. The introduction of the new gTLD is planned for the end of 2013.See the Domain pulse website for full programme and further details at www.domainpulse.chThis SWITCH news release was sourced from:

SWITCH Discontinues Registrar Service For .LI

SWITCH logoSWITCH, 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, “Partners.”

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:

Domain Pulse 2013 Conference Focussing on European New gTLDs

The highlight of the European domain name calendar is fast approaching with the Domain Pulse conference set for 18 and 19 February in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos.Best known for hosting the World Economic Forum, which will be held in late January, Davos will be cleared of world leaders and the important issues impacting on domain names can then be the focus of this annual event.Highlights of the 2013 Domain Pulse will be an analysis of the Top Level Domain landscape by presentations from new gTLD applicants for .swiss, .wien and .zuerich, cybercrime online from Team Cymru, Matthew Zook from Zooknic and a presentation on a secure internet in Switzerland. There will also be a presentation on the 2012 Registrar Atlas that looks at issues affecting registrars in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France.Domain Pulse is co-hosted by the Swiss (SWITCH), Austrian (nic.at) and German (DENIC) registries who take it in turns to host the event. While most presentations are in German, there will be simultaneous translations from German into English, or English into German.Registration and attendance at this unique event is free, with hotel and transport costs the only expense for attendees. More information, and to register, can be found at www.domainpulse.ch

SWITCH, .CH Registry, Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The SWITCH Foundation, operator of the registry for .CH (Switzerland) domain names, celebrated its 25th anniversary last week. To commemorate the anniversary, SWITCH have had a look back at its 25 years and looked at what it has achieved, and also looked at the future.For more on SWITCH’s 25 years, check out the SWITCH announcement below:SWITCH celebrates its 25th anniversaryThe SWITCH Foundation is looking back on the first 25 years of its existence today. As a partner to the universities, SWITCH develops services for researchers, lecturers and students which strengthen Switzerland as a research location and contribute towards networking the universities. Projects for the younger generation and the development of an e-identity are pointing the way to the future for sustainable Internet services.Since it was founded in 1987, SWITCH has been committed to creating, storing and disseminating new knowledge. As part of the Swiss university community, the Foundation makes researchers, lecturers and students more successful on a global basis through comprehensive networking and individual ICT services. It is SWITCH’s close cooperation with the university community and the corporate culture characterised by a team spirit, solidarity and curiosity that have made it a success. “Its global networking ensures that SWITCH is always on the ball”, explains Andreas Dudler, managing director of SWITCH.SWITCH services make their mark on everyday university life
Today, members of the universities use services provided by SWITCH on a daily basis in their work and studies. The SWITCH AAI login, for example, gives 350,000 students and university members secure access to a large number of e-learning systems, web applications and learning platforms at all the participating universities in Switzerland.The authentication and authorisation infrastructure AAI has considerably strengthened Switzerland as a research location and made a key contribution towards networking the universities. AAI has also proved successful internationally: comparable infrastructures are being set up and further developed all over the globe. In the field of e-learning and cooperation, SWITCH has developed services for online lectures, virtual project work, interactive web conferences, an e-learning forum and digital learning libraries.A look to the future
SWITCH is supporting the “Information Technology Biber Switzerland” project, which shows young people just how versatile and relevant to everyday life the Internet is. This IT competition for children and young people in years 5 to 13 at school is intended to arouse young people’s interest in information technology. A further future-oriented project is the e-identity launched in conjunction with Swiss universities, which is developing a permanent, globally compatible, digital identity for lifelong students in Switzerland. SWITCH is keeping a finger on the pulse of innovation with its Innovation Engine: all those belonging to a university are entitled to contribute their idea for an ICT service. If the idea fulfils criteria such as implementability, relevance and financeablility, SWITCH will develop an appropriate service for the university community.

A look back
25 years of SWITCH, 25 years of “.ch” and 25 years of Internet in Switzerland: the virtual journey through time is online at: www.switch.ch/about/25yearsLinks:

Swiss Court Upholds SWITCH’s Right To Link To Switchplus

SWITCH logoThe Swiss Federal Supreme Court has upheld the SWITCH’s right to provide a link to its independent subsidiary switchplus ag.

An earlier court lower court decision had precluded SWITCH from doing so. SWITCH then lodged an appeal on 22 March 2012 with the Federal Supreme Court against the verdict of the Federal Administrative Court of 13 February 2012. This verdict banned SWITCH from providing a link to its subsidiary switchplus ag on the switch.ch website. SWITCH’s appeal was upheld in its entirety by the Federal Supreme Court on 14 August 2012.

“With its decision, the Federal Supreme Court is supporting SWITCH’s economic freedom”, explains Andreas Dudler, Managing Director of SWITCH.

The decision specifies inter alia that it must be possible for SWITCH to provide information on the group website switch.ch not only about its core business for the universities but also on the services of its subsidiary switchplus. With its verdict, the Federal Supreme Court also confirms that SWITCH has not given its subsidiary switchplus an unlawful advantage.

Switchplus was originally established in response to calls from domain name customers for hosting services, so SWITCH set up its commercial subsidiary switchplus ag in 2009. This company provided services associated with an internet presence – from the registration of the domain name, via web mail and CMS hosting, right through to hosted exchange. SWITCH uses its subsidiary’s profits to support Switzerland’s universities.

After switchplus ag had been set up, a group of hosting providers prevented the market entry of the subsidiary. The decision taken by the Federal Supreme Court should now have put an end to this longstanding discussion. “We welcome this pioneering decision by the Federal Supreme Court. It confirms that SWITCH has always acted correctly”, says Marco D’Alessandro, media spokesman for SWITCH.

Malware security: Switzerland No. 1 worldwide

SWITCH logo[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. 

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.”

SWITCH Fighting Malware in Switzerland table

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 Switzerland’s 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:

SWITCH celebrates 25 years of .CH

SWITCH logoThe Swiss Top Level Domain .CH is 25 years old: it was in May 1987 that .ch was registered as the Swiss ending. This was the point at which the Internet in Switzerland came to life – even before the World Wide Web had been invented.

It was the year in which Andy Warhol died, the rock group Nirvana was founded, Steffi Graf won her first “Grand Slam” and Platoon was awarded an Oscar for the best film. In 1987, the Swiss Internet address ending .ch was registered – and, as of that time, SWITCH was responsible for administering the country domain.

Awarding Certificate For 25 Years of CH

Application by e-mail

The Swiss country ending was applied for in a particularly straightforward manner: “to show that we were entitled to .CH, we sent an e-mail identifying ourselves as the experts who were responsible for computer networks in Switzerland”, explains ETH Professor Bernhard Plattner. Since the necessary ISO Standard had also been complied with, Jon Postel, the founder of IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), registered .ch in May 1987 in the name of Bernhard Plattner and his then PhD student, Hannes Lubich, of the ETH Zurich.

“Unfortunately the e-mails got lost at some stage with the transfer to different systems and computers”, says Plattner with regret. The ETH professor, who was also managing director ad interim of the newly established SWITCH Foundation at the time, transferred the country address ending to SWITCH – and thus laid the foundation stone for the present-day registration of .ch domain names.

Celebrating 25 Years Of CH ICANN Certificate

The Internet as a research network

In 1987, the Internet was still purely a network between universities in the USA. “All the data traffic was conducted on the basis of e-mail. A domain name was needed for the address so that the computers could deliver the e-mail correctly in the Internet. That was the first practical use for .CH domain names”, explains Urs Eppenberger, head of the SWITCH registry.

Urs Eppenberger was SWITCH’s first employee as of June 1987, together with interim managing director Plattner. The predecessor of .CH was the e-mail-based “.chunet” network. This abbreviation stood for Swiss university network. The focus on research also emerges clearly from the first three Swiss internet addresses to be registered: these were ethz.ch, cern.ch and switch.ch. Tim Berners Lee did not lay the foundation stone for the current World Wide Web until 1989 at CERN. In 1990, the Internet was made available for commercial use, and people outside the universities and the US military were permitted to use it.


As a non-profit organisation, SWITCH guarantees Switzerland’s access to the Internet. One hundred employees work day-in day-out on further developing web technologies, facilitating the exchange of knowledge between universities and stepping up the security of the Internet in Switzerland. For the private sector, SWITCH develops specially-tailored security solutions and supports the exchange of information. In November 2012, the Internet service provider, with its head office in Zurich is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

This SWITCH news release was sourced from:

Europe Registry logoTo register your .CH domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

ICANN, Swiss Registry, Others Improve Security For Internet Users

A collaboration between ICANN, the Swiss domain name registry SWITCH, Packet Clearing House, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) joined together last week at the ICANN meeting in Singapore to inaugurate the first of three hardened facilities to bring about extra security for global internet users.The new facility will provide secure digital signatures for the country-code top level domains of dozens of countries. The first three new facilities are located in Singapore; Zurich (still under construction) and San Jose, California. The facilities provide cryptographic security using the recently deployed Domain Name System Security (DNSSEC) protocol.”One of ICANN’s core missions is to enhance the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name System. This new DNSSEC facility in Singapore helps us do just that,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN.”The bottom line is that this centre and the two others like it will give billions of internet users the confidence to know that they have ended up at the web site they intended to reach, reducing the risk that they have been misdirected to a different site by cyber criminals.”The implementation of a more secure internet will bring about more than just giving internet users more trust. It will see, for example, web browsers and email gain an additional level of security. On trust, it will mean much more confidence for internet users when they interact online.”Businesspeople, governments, and regular Internet users have been demanding secure domain names for more than ten years, and I’m really happy to have finally built a system that delivers that, and delivers it globally, to any country that wants it, at no cost,” said Packet Clearing House’s research director, Bill Woodcock. “DNSSEC was an obvious next step for our global anycast DNS service network, since we already provide service to more than eighty countries.”The Swiss registry, like the other three locations, was selected because Switzerland is viewed as a stable and secure country. Additionally, Switzerland Singapore benefited from their history of neutrality.Simon Leinen, network engineer at SWITCH is delighted that PCH has selected Zurich as a server location. “The decision in favour of Zurich is based on the excellent, longstanding cooperation between PCH and SWITCH. PCH has been running a number of the name servers responsible for .ch and .li throughout the world.”The locations are spread out geographically in case of a disaster. A diverse selection of countries was chosen in case of one country not necessarily trusting one of those chosen.Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief-Executive and Director-General of Telecoms & Post, IDA, said, “We are honoured that PCH, with the support of ICANN, has decided to host the Asia node of the DNSSEC platform here in Singapore. The facility will assist other countries to secure their DNS, and its location here further affirms Singapore as a secure and trusted hub.”Since its standardisation by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the DNSSEC protocol has been adopted by many top-level domains (TLDs) to form a secure chain of trust within the domain name system.So far this year, several major TLDs, including the German ccTLD .DE, as well as .COM and .NET have already secured their own domains by generating cryptographic keys, which are used in the DNSSEC system to electronically “sign” the domains, authenticating them to the internet users who access the web sites, email, and other internet resources the signed domains contain.Although people browsing the internet often take it for granted that the sites they visit are created and operated by their purported owners, it is possible for criminals with knowledge of the internet’s addressing system to create counterfeit websites that look like the real thing but capture users’ private information. DNSSEC guards against this cyber threat.PCH’s DNSSEC facilities will allow many additional countries to immediately gain the benefits of DNSSEC protection for their country code TLDs without needing to build and maintain their own million-dollar security facilities. During an elaborate “key-signing” ceremony on the opening day of the ICANN meeting (Monday 20 June), cryptographic master keys were created for Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan, and ten other countries that have already chosen to use the system.For more information see a New York Times article that interviews, in part, internet security researcher Dan Kaminsky at www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/science/25trust.html.An ICANN news release of the announcement is available at www.icann.org/en/news/releases/release-22jun11-en.pdf.

Swiss Registry Outlines Why Wikileaks.ch Can’t Be Deleted

SWITCH logoWith the registration of wikileaks.ch, the registry for .CH domain names, SWITCH, has been receiving what they say have been a large number of enquiries as to the circumstances where they would delete the domain name.

SWITCH has said in a statement they are “not responsible for the content of websites. Whether the content of wikileaks.ch is of relevance for criminal law is a matter for the courts to decide on.”

To delete the domain name a court order is required specifying the laws that have been broken.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .CH domain name, check out Europe Registry here.