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ICANN board seat up for reelection

Kevin Murphy, February 3, 2012, Domain Policy

ICANN’s Address Supporting Organization has kicked off an election for one of its two official representatives on the ICANN board of directors.

Director Ray Plzak sees his three-year term come to an end in June. He’s standing for reelection, but has competition from three other candidates.

The ASO represents the oft-overlooked IP address side of the ICANN house. Its members belong to the five Regional Internet Registries that are responsible for doling out IP space.

In this election, all four candidates are from ARIN, the North American RIR community: Plzak, Eric Brunner-Williams, Martin Levy and William Manning.

The winner will be selected by the ASO’s ruling Address Council in May. Until April 19, the ASO wants public comments on the candidates.

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Verisign: our DNS was not hacked

Kevin Murphy, February 3, 2012, Domain Tech

Verisign today reiterated that the recently revealed 2010 security breaches on its corporate network did not affect its production domain name system services.

In a statement, Verisign said:

After a thorough analysis of the attacks, Verisign stated in 2011, and reaffirms, that we do not believe that the operational integrity of the Domain Name System (DNS) was compromised.

We have a number of security mechanisms deployed in our network to ensure the integrity of the zone files we publish. In 2005, Verisign engineered real-time validation systems that were designed to detect and mitigate both internal and external attacks that might attempt to compromise the integrity of the DNS.

The statement followed several news reports that covered the hacks and speculated about the mayhem that could ensue if Verisign’s root or .com zone systems were ever breached.

The information the company has released so far suggests that the attacks were probably against back-office targets, such as user desktops, rather than its sensitive network operations centers.

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New gTLD applications briefly vanish after glitch

Kevin Murphy, February 2, 2012, Domain Tech

A software glitch in ICANN’s TLD Application System was apparently to blame for a number of “disappearing” new generic top-level domain applications today.

At about 4pm UTC today, two Neustar executives tweeted that some applications, among them the company’s own .neustar dot-brand application, had vanished from their TAS accounts.

TAS is the web-based application, presented as a series of questions, which applicants must use to file and pay for their new gTLD applications.

Several other applicants were also believed to be affected.

It took about two hours for ICANN to sort the problem out.

A spokesperson later said: “A display issue occurred in TAS, it has been corrected. All data is now visible & no information was lost.”

It’s the second technical problem to be reported in TAS this week.

On Tuesday, consultant Fairwinds Partners reported that some applicants had problems filling out their TAS profiles, preventing them from completing their applications.

Frankly, I’d be more surprised if this kind of thing didn’t happen.

TAS is brand new custom-built software, and as anyone who’s ever written software will tell you, no amount of testing can substitute for production use when it comes to finding bugs.

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.sas could be the first contested dot-brand gTLD

Kevin Murphy, February 2, 2012, Domain Registries

Scandinavian Airlines System Group is to apply to ICANN for a generic top-level domain, .sas, in what could turn out to be the first example of a contested dot-brand.

The company has agreed to explain its thinking during The Top Level, a conference happening in London later this month.

The agenda for the meeting states that SAS will deliver a presentation entitled: “SAS: Why we made the strategic decision to apply”.

Linn Drivdal Mellbye of conference organizer CloudNames, the Norwegian registry services provider, confirmed in a tweet minutes ago that the sought-after gTLD is .sas.

The string “SAS” has multiple meanings.

Indeed, for about three minutes this post originally stated — wrongly — that the applicant giving the presentation was the North Carolina software giant SAS Institute.

If the American SAS also applies for .sas, it may have to fight it out with the airline at an auction.

SAS — the Scandinavian one — becomes the second dot-brand applicant to come out in as many days, following StarHub’s news yesterday.

The company is based in Stockholm and employs about 25,000 people.

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.com passed 100 million mark in October

Kevin Murphy, February 2, 2012, Domain Registries

Verisign’s .com registry passed the 100 million domains under management milestone in October, the company’s monthly ICANN registry report revealed today.

The exact number of domains under management in .com on October 31 was 100,540,971, having increased by a net 690,243 registrations over the course of the month.

That’s a pretty big deal, but for some reason Verisign didn’t make any announcements about it at the time.

ICANN registry reports, which all contracted gTLDs must submit, are filed three months after the fact, for competitive reasons.

The number of domains in the .com zone file – which is what most people track to follow the fortunes of TLD operators — differs from the total number in the registry.

Domains which do not have name servers or are in special registry status codes such as Pending Delete do not show up in the zone file.

Today, RegistrarStats reports 100,052,046 domains in the .com zone, while HosterStats’ count yesterday was 100,045,666. The registry is likely to have about 1.5 million more, however.

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