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Featured Blogs

ICANN’s Registration Data Request Service: Open Working Session at ICANN79

Mason Cole Last November, ICANN launched a ticketing system for those interested in obtaining domain name registration data ("WHOIS"). Titled Registration Data Request Service, or RDRS, the portal aims to direct requests for WHOIS data to participating registrars, who then decide whether or not to disclose the data. more

Are You Prepared for a New Turkish Delight? .TR Domain Name to Be Released

Justin Hartland In the last year, the company that runs the Turkish Domain Registry has made many changes to how the extension is run. First, it has a brand new portal for registrars to interact with, liberalizing the extension .COM.TR, so registrants are no longer required to meet local presence rules, and it has launched a new dispute process to help brand holders recover domain names.  more

Civilian Tech Mobilization in Ukraine

Larry Press As was the case in the US during World War II, civilian volunteers are making important contributions to the Ukrainian war effort. On February 8, 2022, the first truckload of Starlink terminals arrived in Kyiv. A week later they were being used. By April 2022, there were 5,000 terminals in Ukraine, and 42,000 as of April 2023. (At this point, SpaceX and Ukraine have gone silent. Neither ChatGPT4, Gemini, Copilot, Perplexity, nor I could not find a current terminal count). more

A Brief Primer on Anti-Satellite Warfare Tactics

Rob Frieden Satellites make it possible for governments to provide essential services, such as national defense, navigation, and weather forecasting. Private ventures use satellites to offer highly desired services that include video program distribution, telecommunications, and Internet access. The Russian launch of a satellite, with nuclear power and the likely ability to disable satellites, underscores how satellites are quite vulnerable to both natural and manmade ruin. more

Microsoft’s Size Means Malicious Cyber Actors Thrive

George Rakis Last month, the Russian state-sponsored hacking group "Midnight Blizzard" gained access to the email accounts of Microsoft leadership, even exfiltrating documents and messages. The group reportedly used a simple brute-force style attack to access a forgotten test account and then exploited the permissions on that account to access the emails of employees in the cybersecurity and legal teams. more

Digital Governance Discussion Group (DGDG): One World, One Internet, Many Voices

Wolfgang Kleinwächter On February 12–13, 2024, the first round of the final consultations for a Global Digital Compact (GDC) took place online and offline at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Around 50 governments and 50 speakers from non-governmental institutions took the floor. It was not really a dialog; it was a formal presentation of three-minute statements. more

Lies, Damn Lies, and Selective Statistics About Our Great Wireless Marketplace Thanks to the T-Mobile

Rob Frieden In the February 13th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Professor Thomas W. Hazlett offers a breathless endorsement of market concentration with the T-Mobile acquisition of Sprint, his go-to example. Apparently, mergers and acquisitions benefit consumers because they enhance competition and generate all sorts of positive outcomes that could not possibly have occurred but for the reduction in the number of industry players. more

What is Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP)?

Peter Tobey An IPv4 address identifies your connection to the online world. IP addresses make it possible to host websites, manage secure communication, and engage in countless other essential, internet-related activities. Typically, when migrating to a new cloud provider, a business has only one path: lease the provider's IP addresses. But what if a business already has a block of IP addresses? more

GAC Communiqués and Community Activity on DNS Abuse

Rowena Schoo This blog post and the associated report aim to provide an overview of DNS Abuse 1related issues the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), part of the ICANN multi-stakeholder model, has identified. We also summarize the relevant community activity taking place to address these areas of interest and highlight remaining gaps. From 2016 to June 2023, the GAC referenced four primary categories of activity related to DNS Abuse. more

A Call to Help Disrupt the Spread of Child Sexual Abuse Materials

Jon Nevett The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) leads the charge to combat child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, and we at Public Interest Registry (PIR) are dedicated to supporting their efforts. We are honored to work with them across two important programs: Domain Alerts and TLD Hopping List. IWF services have been extremely successful in addressing CSAM on .ORG over the past five years more

The End of Rural Landlines?

Doug Dawson Recent coverage by CBS News on Channel 13 in Sacramento, California documented how AT&T had cut off landline telephone from 80-year-old Patricia Pereira in Camp Seco. She called at the beginning of 2023 to ask if landline service could be transferred from a neighboring home to hers. Instead of transferring the service, AT&T cut the copper lines dead on both properties. more

Would the “Mensch” in the Room Please Stand Up!

Klaus Stoll Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, in his Internet Governance Outlook 2024, reminded us that 2024, as the years before and future years, will be pivotal for Internet Governance processes. We eagerly await Wolfgang's missives every January, and we trust what we read because we know him, and we trust CircleID. We should be grateful and cherish this example of straightforward, digitally enabled, and trust-based human communication... more

Supporting Rural Cell Towers

Doug Dawson I work with a lot of ISPs that own rural fiber. Some rural network owners have been successful in providing fiber to cell sites near their networks over the last decade. A few sell directly to a cellular carrier, but most of these connections are sold to an intermediate carrier that bundles together cellular connections across a large geographic area. more

Do You Need a License to Look for Spam?

John Levine Jay Fink had an interesting little business. If you lived in California, you could give him access to your email account; he'd look through the spam folder for spam that appeared to violate the state anti-spam law and give you a spreadsheet and a file of PDFs. You could then sue the spammers, and if you won, you'd give Fink part of the money as his fee. more

UN Cybercrime Convention: Time Is Running Out to Address Draft’s Urgent Risks to Human Rights

Maria Paz Canales In two weeks, final negotiations will begin on the UN's proposed Cybercrime Convention, a document which has elicited widespread concern from civil society, industry groups, and some states due to the serious risks it poses to human rights, including privacy and freedom of expression. Since 2022, GPD and other groups, including EFF, Human Rights Watch and Privacy International, have sought to alert stakeholders within the process to the need for substantial revisions... more

News Briefs

CENTR Releases 2024 TLD Insights

The CENTR Global TLD Report 2024 highlights a modest growth in registered domains across the EU, with a notable increase in Poland, France, and Italy, primarily through their national ccTLDs. more

6G Collaboration by U.S. and Allies Against Authoritarian Control

The United States, along with key global partners, has formally committed to principles guiding the development of 6G technology, as announced by the White House. This move comes amidst a strategic contest to shape the future of wireless communication standards, driven by concerns over authoritarian regimes exerting greater control over the internet within their borders. more

Houthis Blamed for Disrupting Asia-Europe Communications by Damaging Underwater Cables

A series of underwater communications cables connecting Saudi Arabia and Djibouti have been rendered inoperative, an incident attributed to the actions of Yemen's Houthi rebels. This revelation comes from an exclusive report by the Israeli news outlet, Globes. more

China’s Satellite Internet Ambitions: A Quest to Rival SpaceX

China launched a notable 67 commercial rockets in a single year, marking a significant effort to catch up with the United States, which led with 116 launches, primarily for SpaceX's Starlink project. more

CENTR Releases Paper on Why We Need Multistakeholder Internet Governance

In a recently released paper by the Council of European National Top-level Domain Registries (CENTR), authored in collaboration with Chris Buckridge, the spotlight is once again on the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance. more

Global Law Enforcement Strikes Major Blow Against LockBit Ransomware Operation

In a significant global operation, law enforcement agencies from 10 countries have severely disrupted the LockBit ransomware group, recognized as the most prolific and harmful cyber threat worldwide. more

Widespread Network Outages Disrupt AT&T Services Across the US

In a significant service disruption early Thursday, AT&T's network experienced widespread outages, affecting cellular service and internet connectivity for users across the United States. According to the tracking site Downdetector, the issues began around 4 a.m. ET, with over 32,000 reports of outages, which surged to more than 71,000 by 8 a.m. ET. more

UN Treaty Threatens Cybersecurity, Warns Google

As governments convene to discuss the UN Cybercrime Treaty, Google is urging caution, warning that the current draft could endanger online security and free expression.  more

Millions of Smart Toothbrushes Hijacked in Cyberattack on Swiss Firm

Hackers have commandeered approximately three million smart toothbrushes, transforming them into a botnet for launching a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack against a Swiss company's website, causing significant financial losses. more

U.S. Implements New Visa Restrictions to Combat Commercial Spyware Abuse

The U.S. has introduced a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals implicated in the misuse of commercial spyware. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that these restrictions would apply to those involved in, facilitating, or benefiting from the abuse of such technology. more

Mozilla Launches Monitor Plus, A Comprehensive Privacy Service

Mozilla is launching Mozilla Monitor Plus, a premium service priced at $8.99 per month annually, promising to detect and remove users' personal information from over 190 data broker sites. more

DNSSEC Failure Causes Massive Website Outages on Russian Internet

A DNSSEC failure plunged hundreds of Russian-language websites into darkness on Tuesday evening, rendering .ru and .рф domains inaccessible. The outage affected users both within and outside Russia, with major platforms such as Tinkoff Bank, Avito, Wildberries, Yandex, and MTS experiencing disruptions. more

ICANN Proposes Exclusive TLD: .INTERNAL for Private Use

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is considering the introduction of a new top-level domain (TLD) named .INTERNAL. Unlike traditional TLDs, .INTERNAL is designed exclusively for internal use, akin to the private IPv4 block 192.168.x.x. more

NSA Admits Purchasing Americans’ Internet Browsing Data Without Warrants

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has confirmed acquiring Americans' internet browsing information without warrants through commercial brokers, according to a letter from NSA Director Paul Nakasone to Senator Ron Wyden. more

In Memoriam: Dave Mills (1938-2024)

The world of the Internet mourns the loss of a pioneering force, as Dave Mills, a luminary in the realm of computer networking, passed away on January 17, 2024, at the age of 86 (announced by Vint Cerf). A trailblazer and visionary, Mills played a pivotal role in shaping the very foundations of the interconnected world we inhabit today. more

ICANN Launches $10 Million Grant Program to Boost Global Internet Growth

ICANN, the organization overseeing the Domain Name System, has announced a $10 million grant initiative to propel projects supporting "the growth of a single, open and globally interoperable Internet." The first application cycle for grants is set to open in March 2024. more

Wi-Fi Alliance Has Officially Confirmed Wi-Fi 7 Standard; Certification Now Underway for New Devices

The Wi-Fi Alliance has officially certified devices supporting Wi-Fi 7, the highly anticipated next generation of wireless home internet. Starting in 2024, phones, laptops, and routers equipped with this standard are expected to deliver significant speed and efficiency gains compared to Wi-Fi 6E. more

SpaceX Launches Starlink Satellites for Global Cellular Coverage

SpaceX successfully launched 21 satellites, including the first six Starlink satellites equipped with "Direct to Cell" capabilities. These advanced satellites aim to offer seamless global access to texting, calling, and browsing for mobile network operators worldwide, eliminating dead zones with a space-based cellphone tower. more

Amazon’s Project Kuiper Successfully Tests Laser-Based Satellite Communication

Amazon's Project Kuiper has confirmed the use of laser-based inter-satellite links (OISL) for its satellite communication system. The technology has undergone successful testing in orbit, with data transmission speeds of 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) over a distance of 621 miles achieved.  more

Ukraine’s Leading Mobile Operator Struck by War’s Largest Cyberattack

In the largest cyberattack since Russia's invasion in February 2022, Ukraine's leading mobile network operator, Kyivstar, faced severe disruptions. more

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Industry Updates

DNS Deep Diving into Pig Butchering Scams

WhoisXML API New kids on the cybercrime block, pig butchering scams, have been making waves lately, and it is not surprising why. Scammers have been earning tons from them by being able to trick users into investing in seemingly legitimate business ventures but losing their hard-earned cash instead. more

IPv4 Addresses: Dormant Assets or Untapped Digital Gold?

IPv4.Global In the digital age, where every device, from smartphones to fridges, connects to the Internet, the topic of IP addresses becomes increasingly relevant. An IP address, a unique identifier for devices on the Internet, has seen its fair share of evolution from IPv4 to IPv6. Yet, the question lingers: Are unused IPv4 addresses a hidden treasure? more

The New RisePro Version in the DNS Spotlight

WhoisXML API RisePro, a malware-as-a-service data stealer, has been plaguing users since 2022. ANY.RUN recently discovered and analyzed its latest version in great depth and identified 10 indicators of compromise (IoCs) -- three domains and seven IP addresses. more

CSC Partners with NetDiligence to Help Mitigate Cyber Risks and Support the Cyber Insurance Ecosystem

CSC CSC, an enterprise-class domain registrar and world leader in mitigating domain security, domain name system (DNS), and digital brand threats, today announces its partnership with NetDiligence®, a leader in cyber risk readiness and response solutions for the cyber insurance industry. more

Tracking Down Sea Turtle IoCs in the DNS Ocean

WhoisXML API The Sea Turtle threat group recently made headlines when it expanded its operations to target ISPs and telecommunications and media companies in the Netherlands. In the past, Sea Turtle primarily targeted organizations in the Middle East and the U.S. using DNS hijacking and man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. more

Tracing the DNS Spills of the OilRig Cyber Espionage Group

Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) The OilRig cyber espionage group that goes by many names, including APT34, Crambus, Lyceum, and Siamesekitten, launched a long-term intrusion against a Middle Eastern government agency that ran from February to September 2023. more

Radix Launches Linklab - a Tool for Creators to Brand Their Link-In-Bios

Radix Radix has launched a free branding tool for creators who use link-in-bio services. The new tool transforms clunky and ordinary links-in-bio (or bio-links) such as ‘linktr.ee/johndoe123’ into branded links such as ‘www.johndoe.online’ for free. more

Uncloaking the Underbelly of JinxLoader

WhoisXML API Cybercriminals are known for using so-called "loaders" like Xloader to initiate computer infections. Worse, even newbies can now get their hands on these malware distributors via hacker forums. Case in point? JinxLoader, one of the latest malicious offerings up for grabs on the likes of hackforums[.]net. more

Examining the Mirai.TBOT IoCs under the DNS Microscope

WhoisXML API The Mirai botnet, first discovered way back in 2016, made headlines and gained infamy as the biggest botnet to hit networks the world over. It has resurfaced with multiple ways of infecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the ability to launch zero-day exploits. more

A Deep Dive into 6 APT Groups Based in or Targeting APAC

WhoisXML API Advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are more dangerous than your run-of-the-mill cybercriminals. They, after all, trail their sights not only on financial gain but loftier targets such as wreaking havoc on entire nations. more

WhoisXML API Launches New and Improved Website Categorization Products

WhoisXML API WhoisXML API is thrilled to introduce a new version of Website Categorization API and Website Categorization Database. The product line now offers an enhanced website categorization model with additional context and is powered by advanced artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, offering overall better stability and accuracy. more

Exploring Epsilon Stealer Traces Aided by DNS Intel

WhoisXML API Computers that get infected with the Epsilon stealer could spell game over for serious gamers, but they are not the only ones at risk. The creators of games like EPSILON, Pokemon, and Roblox that the malware operators are mimicking stand to lose a lot as well. They may lose customers and damage their reputation in the process. more

WhoisXML API Newly Registered Domains V2 (NRD2) Achieved Massive Coverage Growth

WhoisXML API WhoisXMl API is proud to announce data quality improvements of the Newly Registered Domains V2 (NRD2) Data Feed, specifically an 89% increase in total coverage over the last 12 months. Moreover, the data feed recorded a 153.95% increase in activity for the top 10 country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs). more

A Peek at the PikaBot Infrastructure

WhoisXML API It is not uncommon these days for threat actors to use malicious search ads to distribute malware. To do that, though, they would need to know how to bypass Google's security measures by setting up decoy infrastructures. more