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One IE pass, one fail this week

Kevin Murphy, September 20, 2013, Domain Registries

ICANN is down to 18 new gTLD applications in Initial Evaluation now, after one pass and one failure this week.

The pass is the dot-brand .lplfinancial, applied for by LPL Financial, a US-based broker. The company already owns the arguably better domain lpl.com.

The failure, which is eligible for Extended Evaluation, is Top Level Domain Holdings’ geographic bid for .roma, a city TLD for Rome, Italy.

The application failed on geographic grounds, meaning TLDH seems to have failed to provide sufficient evidence of government support or non-objection.

It’s TLDH’s final IE result and the only one of its 70 applications to fail to achieve a passing score.

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New gTLD plans November 30 sunrise

Kevin Murphy, September 20, 2013, Domain Registries

I-Registry, which signed an ICANN Registry Agreement for the new gTLD .onl this week, plans to launch its Sunrise period on November 30, according to the company.

It’s the first date for a new gTLD Sunrise period I’ve come across to date, though it is of course an informal target rather than a firm commitment.

ICANN has signed contracts covering a few dozen gTLDs but as yet none have been delegated. As anyone who has been following dotShabaka’s diary on DI will know, there’s still a lot of uncertainty

.onl, which is short for “online”, is expected to be an open gTLD with no registration restrictions.

I-Registry plans to donate a portion of its profits to charity.

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Phishing domains double in 2013

Kevin Murphy, September 20, 2013, Domain Tech

The number of domain names registered for phishing attacks doubled in the first half of the year, according to the latest data from the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

The APWG identified 53,685 phishing domains, of which 12,173 are believed to have been registered by phishers. The remainder belonged to compromised web servers.

This 12,173 number — up from 5,835 in the year-ago period — is the important one for the domain name industry, as it is there that registries and registrars have the ability to make a difference.

“The increase is due to a sudden uptick in domain registrations by Chinese phishers,” the APWG said in its Domain Name Use and Trends 1H2013 report (pdf). Chinese targets accounted for 8,240 (68%) of the registered domains.

This works out to about 66 maliciously registered domains per day on average, or less than half a percent of the total number of domains registered across all TLDs daily.

According to the APWG, the number of phishing domains that actually contain a brand or a variation of a brand is smaller still, at 1,244. That’s flat on the second half of 2012.

It works out to about seven new trademark-infringing phishing domain names per day that a brand owner somewhere in the world (though probably China) has to deal with.

APWG reiterated what it has said in previous reports:

most maliciously registered domain names offered nothing to confuse a potential victim. Placing brand names or variations thereof in the domain name itself is not a favored tactic, since brand owners are proactively scanning Internet zone files for their brand names. As we have observed in the past, the domain name itself usually does not matter to phishers, and a domain name of any meaning, or no meaning at all, in any TLD, will usually do. Instead, phishers often place brand names in subdomains or subdirectories.

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dotShabaka Diary — Day 13, Questions, Questions

Kevin Murphy, September 20, 2013, Domain Registries

The thirteenth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Friday 20 September 2013

The new gTLD webinar on 19 September was very well attended with over 200 people on the call. Due to time constraints ICANN did not answer questions previously submitted by email so we thought it would be useful to share them with you here:

  • 1. What issues do ICANN need to resolve before the delegation processes will commence for those TLDs that have completed PDT?
    a) What are the processes and schedules for resolution of these issues?
    b) Will this information be made available to Applicants to assist with launch planning?
  • 2. The number of Trademark records in the Arabic script in the TMCH is very low – the last information that Deloitte/IBM/ICANN published in early July was that there were 13 trademarks records in the Arabic script in the TMCH. No update on IDN trademark records in the TMCH has been provided since.
    a. Why is this information not publically available to assist registry operators with launch planning?
    b. What is the plan to improve TMCH IDN numbers and what are the forecasts?
  • 3. Only 26 Registrars have signed the 2013 RAA. To expedite the on-boarding process and enable a global network of Registrars for the TLD launch, can ICANN remove the requirement that a registrar have executed the 2013 RAA in order to obtain a registration token for the TMDB? This will allow Registrar testing to proceed whilst the 2013 RAA is being executed/negotiated.
  • 4. Can you please provide a specific date for distribution of the PR kit for new gTLD registries who are planning launch activities as mentioned by Christine Willett in her recent video interview?
  • 5. When will ICANN update its website with the list of registrars that have completed TMCH Integration Testing as promised in section 1.5 of the 6 August RPM Requirements Document?
  • 6. When will the Registry Reporting Interface required as per Specification 3 be in production rather than OT&E?
  • 7. ICANN staff mentioned that there may be a call to discuss finalising the URS Technical Requirements Document
    a. When will this call occur?
    b. When will the URS Technical Requirements Document be finalised?
    c. Must the URS Technical Requirements Document be finalised prior to the delegation or sunrise of the first new gTLDs?
  • 8. Is the CZDA operational and ready for the first new gTLDs which will be delegated in the next month?
  • 9. Can IBM create a permanent OT&E for the TMCH that allows complete end to end testing and includes all the functionality found in the production environment?

We look forward to ICANN will publishing responses to these questions in the Q&A typically distributed a few days after completion.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

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Go Daddy buys Afternic

Kevin Murphy, September 20, 2013, Domain Registrars

Go Daddy has strengthened its already pretty strong hand in the domain name aftermarket by acquiring Afternic from NameMedia for an undisclosed sum.

Afternic provides a centralized platform for listing domains for sale. About 100 registrars, including Go Daddy, carry its six million listings.

Go Daddy also offers its own customers a Premium Listings service. Integrating the two platforms will happen “over the coming months”, Go Daddy said.

Afternic usually reports about a million dollars of domain sales via its platform every week, but those figures don’t include private sales. It already has deals in place to sell premium names for several new gTLDs.

Some of Go Daddy’s biggest competitors — existing Afternic partners — appear to be happy about the move. Go Daddy’s press release quotes Tucows and Web.com executives giving the deal the thumbs-up.

Afternic did once belong to Register.com, one of Web.com’s registrars, but for the last six years it has been owned by NameMedia.

The deal also includes SmartName, NameMedia’s parking service, but not BuyDomains, where NameMedia sells its own portfolio of names. Go Daddy will take on Afternic’s Boston-based staff.

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