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Donuts says DPML now covers “millions” of trademark variants as price rockets again

Kevin Murphy, October 1, 2018, 20:04:04 (UTC), Domain Registrars

Donuts has added more than a third to the price of its Domain Protected Marks List service, as it adds a new feature it says vastly increases the number of domains trademark owners can block.

The company has added homograph attack protection to DPML, so trademark-owning worrywarts can block variations of their brand that contain confusing non-Latin characters in addition to all the domain variants DPML already takes out of the available pool.

An example of a homograph, offered by Donuts, would be the domain xn--ggle-0nda.com, which can display as “gοοgle.com” and which contains two Cyrillic o-looking characters but is pretty much indistinguishable from “google.com”.

Donuts reckons this could mean “millions” of domains could be blocked, potentially preventing all kinds of phishing attacks, but one suspects the actual number per customer rather depends on how many potentially confusable Latin characters appear in the brands they want to protect.

DPML is a block service that prevents others from registering domains matching or closely matching customers’ trademarks. Previous additions to the service have included typo protection.

The new feature supports Cyrillic and Greek scripts, the two that Donuts says most homograph attacks use.

The company explained it to its registrars like this:

The Donuts system will analyze the content of each SLD identified in a DPML subscription, breaking it down to its individual characters. Each character is then “spun” against Unicode’s list of confusable characters and replaced with all viable IDN “glyphs” supported by Donuts TLDs. This spinning results in potentially millions of IDN permutations of a brand’s trademark which may be considered easily confusable to an end user. Each permutation is then blocked (removed from generally available inventory) just like other DPML labels, meaning it can only be registered via an “Override” by a party holding a trademark on the same label.

While this feature comes at no additional cost, Donuts is increasing its prices from January 1, the second big increase since DPML went live five years ago.

Donuts declined to disclose its wholesale price when asked, but I’ve seen registrars today disclose new pricing of $6,000 to $6,600 for a five-year block.

That compares to retail pricing in the $2,500 to $3,000 range back in 2013.

Hexonet said it will now charge its top-flight resellers $6,426 per create, compared to the $4,400 it started charging when DPML prices last went up at the start of last year. OpenProvider has also added two grand to its prices.

Donuts said the price increase also reflects the growth of its portfolio of gTLDs over the last few years. It now has 241, 25% more than at the last price increase.

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Comments (3)

  1. Jay says:

    So they create a problem (start many new gtld) which people use to phish, then offer a ‘solution’ for 6,000. How thoughtful!

  2. Avtal says:

    I’m confused by the xn--ggle-0nda.com example provided by Donuts. Verisign would not allow you to register this as a .com domain, because Verisign does not permit mixed-script domain names (names that contain both Latin and Cyrillic characters, for instance). I don’t know whether Donuts has similar restrictions in their gTLDs; if not, they should.

    A better example would be caxap.com, which can be written in all-Latin characters left of the dot (as above), and also in all-Cyrillic characters: сахар.com (punycode xn--80aa2cbv.com).

    But there are not a lot of words like caxap that look identical in all-Latin and all-Cyrillic, so I am not sure most trademarks are worth protecting against this form of homograph attack.

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