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gTLD market passes 150 million names

Kevin Murphy, January 7, 2014, Domain Registries

There were over 150 million domain names registered in gTLDs at the end of September, according to the latest registry reports.

The exact number, across all 18 gTLDs that file registry reports, was 150,173,219 as of September 30.

As you might expect, .com accounts for the vast majority — just over 113 million — with .net a distant second with 15.5 million.

Five gTLDs were shrinking when compared to August: .info, .pro, .asia, .tel and .museum.

Neustar’s .biz was growing fastest sequentially in percentage terms, its 2.65 million domains up over 7% on August numbers.

Here’s the full table of September’s numbers:

TLDDUMDUM ChangeDUM Change %
com113,008,994475,4250.42%
net15,498,04429,5880.19%
org10,346,43916,9130.16%
info6,158,549-89,319-1.43%
biz2,659,252175,8187.08%
mobi1,164,44420,0901.76%
asia508,491-4,911-0.96%
name214,6292,1591.02%
tel191,544-2,048-1.06%
pro150,913-6,090-3.88%
xxx121,4742640.22%
cat69,0014050.59%
jobs44,356710.16%
travel20,180770.38%
aero8,868660.75%
coop7,596190.25%
museum432-1-0.23%
post1300.00%

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Donuts picks young British firm for Sunrise disputes

Kevin Murphy, January 6, 2014, Domain Services

A newish UK company managed by some old internet policy hands has been appointed by Donuts to handle disputes arising from its Sunrise and Domain Protected Marks List policies.

Oxford-based Synetergy, which says it worked with Interconnect Comunications on new gTLD evaluations, is managed by Emily Taylor (formerly of Nominet) and Tony Holmes (formerly of BT).

The company will handle Donuts’ Sunrise and DPML Dispute Resolution Policy, which ICANN published (pdf) today.

The policy comes into play whenever somebody suspects that a Sunrise registration or DPML block in a Donuts gTLD was made based on a bogus trademark submission.

The price of filing a complaint under the process is £250 for up to five names registered to the same registrant.

Taylor said that IP experts from Sipara will handle the substantive evaluations, with Synetergy administering the process.

United TLD, the Demand Media/Rightside new gTLD applicant subsidiary, is also using Synetergy for its dispute resolution services, Taylor said.

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Latest Go Daddy phishing attack unrelated to 2013 RAA

Kevin Murphy, January 6, 2014, Domain Registrars

Fears that the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement would lead to new phishing attacks appear to be unfounded, at least so far.

The 2013 RAA, which came into force at most of the big registrars on January 1, requires registrars to verify the registrant’s email address or phone number whenever a new name is registered.

It was long predicted that this new provision — demanded by law enforcement — would lead to phishers exploiting registrant confusion, obtaining login credentials, and stealing valuable domain names.

Over the weekend, it looked like this prediction had come true, with posts over at DNForum saying that a new Go Daddy scam was doing the rounds and reports that it was related to the 2013 RAA changes.

I disagree. Shane Cultra posted a screenshot of the latest scam on his blog, alongside a screenshot of Go Daddy’s actual verification email, and the two are completely dissimilar.

The big giveaways are the “Whois Data Reminder” banner and “Reminder to verify the accuracy of Whois data” subject line.

The new attack is not exploiting the new 2013 RAA Whois verification requirements, it’s exploiting the 10-year-old Whois Data Reminder Policy, which requires registrars annually to remind their customers to keep their contact details accurate.

In fact, the language of the new scam has been used in phishing attacks against registrants since at least 2010.

That’s not to say the attack is harmless, of course — the attacker is still going to steal the contents of your Go Daddy account if you fall for it.

We probably will see attacks specifically targeting confusion about the new address verification policy in future, but it seems to me that the confusion we’re seeing with the latest scam may be coincidental.

Go Daddy told DI yesterday that the scam site in question had already been shut down. It’s not clear if anyone fell for it while it was live.

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Google registers its first new gTLD domain

Kevin Murphy, January 4, 2014, Domain Registries

Google took part in dotShabaka Registry’s Sunrise period, according to today’s zone files.

The company registered جوجل.شبكة, in the .شبكة (Arabic “.web”) TLD, via MarkMonitor at some point prior to December 30.

“جوجل” seems to be the Arabic transliteration of “Google”.

The domain is not resolving, but Whois says it belongs to Google and it’s configured to use Google name servers.

It’s only the fifth confirmed Sunrise registration in the .شبكة space — the only new gTLD to so far conclude a Sunrise period.

Rolex registered its trademark and Richemont International registered three of its luxury goods brands. So far, Rolex is the only confirmed new gTLD registrant that is not also an applicant.

None of the registrants to date are from the Arabic-speaking regions.

These may all be defensive registrations, of course, and may never resolve to anything useful.

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Vienna is the first city with its own TLD

Kevin Murphy, January 3, 2014, Domain Registries

The world’s first city gTLD, .wien, went live on the internet this morning.

It’s the TLD for what the English-speaking world calls Vienna, the Austrian capital.

While its nic.wien starter page doesn’t seem to be resolving yet, .wien itself is in the DNS root zone file.

punkt.wien, the new registry, said in its application that .wien names will be restricted to anyone who “can demonstrate that they have an economic, cultural, historical, social or any other connection” to Vienna.

The same test will apply to the use of .wien names — the registry plans to review the content of sites under the gTLD from time to time to ensure compliance.

The policy appears to be modeled somewhat on the .cat geo-gTLD.

According to the .wien application, about a quarter of the Austrian population lives in its environs, giving the gTLD a market of about 1.7 million people.

The registry is planning to launch properly in March, according to its web site.

While it’s the first city gTLD to go live, it isn’t the first geo to hit the root in this round — that honor belongs to .ruhr, which represents a German state.

(Note: Laos’ ccTLD, .la, is often marketed as a city TLD for Los Angeles, but it’s not quite the same thing.)

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