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Featured Blogs

NIS 2.0 and Its Impact on the Domain Name Ecosystem

Michael D. Palage I recently appeared on the 419 Consulting podcast to discuss the European Union's NIS 2.0 Directive and its impact on the domain name ecosystem. I encourage all TLD registries, domain name registration service providers, and DNS operators to listen to the recording of that session which Andrew Campling has made available. more

Solar Storms Threaten Broadband and Power Grids: Understanding the Impacts and Preparations

Doug Dawson Many readers will have seen recent news that the aurora borealis, or northern lights, were visible deep into the South for several days. This phenomenon is caused by a geomagnetic storm that is caused by strong solar flares. Solar flares can cause problems on Earth by emitting clouds of magnetized particles and hot plasma. more

13th Registration Operations Workshop: Join Us Online on June 4th, 2024

Michael D. Palage As a member of the ROW Planning Committee, I am writing this post on behalf of the Committee and welcome all community members to join us on June 4th. We are celebrating ROW's 10th anniversary! A decade of collaboration and inspiration! Thank you to the incredible community that has fueled this journey! more

A Transport Protocol’s Perspective on Optimizing Starlink Performance

Geoff Huston Digital communications systems always represent a collection of design trade-offs. Maximizing one characteristic of a system may impair others, and various communications services may choose to optimize different performance parameters based on the intersection of these design decisions with the physical characteristics of the communications medium. more

Building Resilient Broadband Networks: Lessons from the Power Industry’s Transformation

Doug Dawson It's almost impossible to talk about broadband at the community level without talking about resiliency and redundancy. It's hard to find rural communities that haven't experienced a broadband outage due to a fiber being cut somewhere. The issue hits the news when there are reports of regional or national broadband outages. more

NETmundial +10: Inspiration for Multistakeholder Digital Governance, but Is It Enough?

Daniela Schnidrig Last week (29-30 April), Global Partners Digital (GPD) joined other civil society groups, business actors, the technical community and governments in São Paulo, Brazil for NETmundial+10: the ten year follow up to the landmark NETmundial process in 2014, which set out principles for multistakeholder approaches to Internet governance. In the intervening decade, the policy landscape has been transformed by an increase in policy and normative frameworks related to digital technologies, as well the advent of new technologies—particularly AI—and their attendant opportunities and challenges. more

ISPs and AI: Enhancing Customer Experience and Network Efficiency

Doug Dawson One of the most common questions I've been asked lately is what I think the impact AI will have on the broadband industry. All of the big ISPs in the industry have actively been pursuing the use of AI. For example, AT&T Labs says it is investigating the use of AI to optimize the customer experience and auto-heal the network. Comcast says that it is using AI to help process petabytes of data every day. more

A New Analysis of the Newest New-GTLDs

David Barnett As the new-gTLD programme - the ICANN initiative to add a large number of new domain extensions (top-level domains, or TLDs) to the Internet - continues to see ongoing launches of new TLDs, we conduct a new retrospective of the activity landscape of the most recent extensions to have been launched. This new study focuses on all new-gTLDs to have entered their Sunrise or General Available periods since the start of 2023, following a previous overview by Stobbs of the full new-gTLD landscape. more

Annual Observatory on .FR Activity: New All-Time Record for .FR Domain Name Create Operations

Loic Damilaville Afnic, the Registry of the .FR Top Level Domain, published its annual review on .FR activity in 2023 and analysis of market trends. This growth was due in particular to a significant increase in the number of .FR domain name create operations in 2023 (+6.4%). A new all-time record was reached, with 801,427 create operations, the 800,000 threshold for the number of create operations in a year being passed for the first time. more

São Paulo Multistakeholder Guidelines: A Blueprint for Inclusive Digital Governance

Jovan Kurbalija The São Paulo Multistakeholder Guidelines adopted at last week's NETmundial +10 conference (Sao Paulo, 29-30 April 2024) provide a breath of fresh air in the current digital debates. They untangle quite a few confusions and offer a pragmatic path forward. The NETMundial statement resolves terminological confusion between internet and digital by combining two terms in the phrase 'internet governance and digital policy'. more

Cogent Communications Offers $206 Million in Secured Notes Backed by IPv4 Addresses

Lee Howard Cogent (CCOI) recently announced that it was offering secured notes for $206M. The unusual part is what it’s using as security: some of its IPv4 addresses and the leases on those IPv4 addresses... Cogent has been leasing out addresses for several years. All internet service providers (ISPs) give IP addresses to their users, but Cogent was among the first to lease those addresses independently of internet access. more

The State of the Internet - 2024

Doug Dawson It’s been a while since I took a look at the worldwide Internet. The statistics cited below come from Datareportal. The world population in January 2024 was 8.08 billion, up 74 million from a year earlier, a growth rate of 0.9%. There were 5.61 billion unique mobile subscribers in January, up 138 million (2.5%) over a year earlier. 5.35 billion people used the Internet at the end of 2023, up 97 million (1.8%) from a year earlier. more

Do We Need IPv4 at Home/SOHO Any More?

Torbjörn Eklöv CLAT/NAT64 is utilized across many mobile networks globally, and I am only talking about Ethernet and Wi-Fi in home and small office/home office (SOHO) environments. I experimented by completely disabling IPv4 at home and established a SSID where my MacBook Pro operates without an actual IPv4 address. The MacBook supports CLAT (RFC 6877), and by implementing PREF64 (RFC 8781) and DHCP Option 108 (RFC 8925) in my network, I was able to achieve a 100% IPv6 environment. more

Embracing On-Chain Domains for a Safer Internet

Matt Gould From the humble beginnings of ARPANET to the birth of the internet as we know it today, domain registrars have been the silent architects of our online activity. Now, as we stand on the cusp of the Web3 revolution, domains are set to undergo yet another profound transformation. Internet innovations have given us a remarkable ability to connect, but now we are bouncing against the limits of this paradigm. more

What Defines a Stakeholder in Internet Governance? (Netmundial+10 Special)

Mark Datysgeld What defines a stakeholder in Internet governance? Is it a professional occupation, an ideology, or a specific methodology? One of the key themes emerging in the Netmundial+10 event has been that of stakeholder involvement, participation and representation in different IG mechanisms. The numeric increase in contributors to these processes since the original Netmundial is palpable. However, questions remain about the definition of a stakeholder and the premises under which these actors should engage in policy work together. more

News Briefs

Internet’s 50th Anniversary Celebrated Worldwide with IEEE Event

On May 19, 2024, the Internet's 50th anniversary was celebrated in a virtual event named i50, drawing participation from 1,000 IEEE members and internet enthusiasts from 56 countries. The live-streamed event was a highlight in a series of celebrations marking this milestone. more

Unexplained Glitch Disrupts Root-Server, Raises Security Concerns

For over four days, a crucial server within the Internet's domain name system (DNS) experienced an unexplained glitch, causing it to fall out of sync with its 12 peer root servers. The server, operated by Cogent Communications, is one of the 13 essential root servers that manage the Internet's root zone. more

Researchers Expose Privacy Risks in Apple and Starlink’s Geo-Location Data, Uncovering Military and Civilian Tracking

Researchers from the University of Maryland have revealed significant privacy and security concerns related to the way Apple and Starlink geo-locate devices. Their study found that Apple's Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) collects and publicly shares precise locations of Wi-Fi access points. more

Yemen’s Submarine Cable Repairs Hindered by Political Dispute

Repair efforts for three crucial submarine internet cables damaged in the Red Sea are being obstructed by political disputes over access to Yemeni waters. more

UK First Country to Implement Cybersecurity Laws for Smart Devices, Including Banning Easily Guessable Default Passwords

Today UK's new consumer protection laws against hacking and cyber-attacks officially take effect. This legislation, a global first, mandates that all internet-connected smart devices - from smartphones and game consoles to connected refrigerators - meet stringent security standards. more

Proposed Generative AI Disclosure Act Seeks Transparency and Fairness in AI Training Datasets

In response to ongoing controversies over the use of copyrighted content in training artificial intelligence, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff has introduced the Generative AI Disclosure Act more

New FCC Rule Mandates Transparent Broadband Labels to Aid Consumer Choice

Major U.S. broadband providers are now mandated to display clear consumer labels outlining prices, speeds, and data allowances for their services. This directive from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) applies to all major standalone home and mobile broadband plans, targeting providers with over 100,000 subscribers. more

U.S. Congress Nears Breakthrough Agreement on National Online Data Protection Framework

In a landmark move that may pave the way for enhanced online data protection in the United States, key congressional committee leaders are on the brink of finalizing a national framework to safeguard Americans' personal data on the Internet.  more

Scientists Set New Internet Speed World Record: 4.5 Million Times Faster Than Average Broadband

In a groundbreaking development, scientists from Aston University, in collaboration with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan and Nokia Bell Labs in the US, have set a new world record in internet speed. more

ICANN Initiates First Cycle of Its Grant Program

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has unveiled the first cycle of its Grant Program, earmarking up to $10 million for projects aimed at enhancing Internet resilience and global interoperability.  more

Biden Administration Alerts Governors to Rising Cyber Threats on U.S. Water Systems

The Biden administration has issued a stark warning to the nation's governors about the increasing threat of cyberattacks on the United States' water and wastewater systems. more

FCC Updates Broadband Speed Standard, Aims for Nationwide High-Speed Internet Acces

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has updated the national broadband speed standard to at least 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload speeds, marking the first adjustment since January 2015. more

CENTR Warns Against EU FiDA Proposal’s Impact on Consumer Access and Business Continuity

The Council of European National Top-level domain Registries (CENTR) has issued recommendations to modify the EU's Financial Data Access Regulation proposal, warning about the potentially irreversible effects on European consumers and businesses. more

Subsea Cable Breaks Sever Internet Connectivity Across South Africa

Multiple subsea cable breaks have significantly disrupted internet connectivity across South Africa, affecting a wide range of internet and cloud service providers and leaving thousands of users disconnected. more

Ransomware Crisis in U.S. Healthcare

A significant ransomware attack by a group known as AlphV or BlackCat has severely disrupted pharmacies across the U.S., affecting the delivery of prescription medications for over ten days. This attack on Change Healthcare has resulted in considerable difficulties for hospital pharmacies and nationwide drug distribution. more

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

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Industry Updates

Stately Taurus APT Group Targets Asian Countries: What Do the Campaign IoCs Reveal?

WhoisXML API A decade-old advanced persistent threat (APT) group called "Stately Taurus," also known as "Mustang Panda" and "Earth Preta," was recently observed targeting Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in cyberespionage activities. Specifically, Palo Alto Networks observed two malware packages that may have been used to target Japan, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Singapore. more

Managing Expanding Attack Surfaces for Growing Businesses

Attaxion While 20% of businesses may not survive past their first year, those that manage steady growth face new challenges over time. Among them is external attack surface expansion, one of the most critical security aspects for growing businesses. more

Subdomain Hijacking in the News Again - What is It?

CSC In recent news, more than 13,000 subdomains of brands were hijacked for a large spam campaign that "leverages the trust associated with these domains to circulate spam and malicious phishing emails by the millions each day, cunningly using their credibility and stolen resources to slip past security measures." more

Looking for More Signs of Nitrogen in the DNS

Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) Malwarebytes Labs recently published a report on the latest Nitrogen malware campaign that has been targeting system administrators using fake ads in the guise of Google sponsored search results. According to the security analysts, the victims are currently limited to North America. more

Thoughts on RDRS for Brand Owners

CSC This month, Stephanie Driver, CSC's marketing manager, spoke with Patrick Hauss, head of Corporate Development and Strategic Alliances EMEA, about the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Registration Data Request Service (RDRS) as part of an ongoing a series of interviews with CSC's Digital Brand services business experts, where we talk about industry issues across cybersecurity, domains, brand protection, and fraud protection. more

Unraveling the World of Security Data Aggregation

WhoisXML API More than 30.6 billion records have been exposed in 2024 so far based on 8,839 publicly disclosed incidents. Intensifying cybersecurity efforts has thus become more critical than ever for organizations the world over. more

A DNS Investigation of the Typhoon 2FA Phishing Kit

WhoisXML API Bleeping Computer recently reported that a phishing-as-a-service (PhaaS) available in cybercriminal forums dubbed "Typhoon 2FA" has the ability to compromise Microsoft 365 and Google accounts even if users have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled. more

Radix’s Releases H2 2023 Premium Domains Report, Reaches $4.8M in Total Premium Domain Name Retail Revenue

Radix Radix, a leading top-level domain registry, recently released its Premium Domains Performance Report for the second half of 2023, highlighting significant growth and robust sales across its domain portfolio. more

Examining a U.S. Tax Scammer’s Web Infrastructure through the DNS Lens

WhoisXML API The 2024 U.S. tax season is well underway, and as usual, scams of all kinds targeting taxpayers and causing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) problems have cropped up. One such ongoing malicious campaign has explicitly been trailing its sights on small business owners and the self-employed. more

Digging Deep to Examine the Roots of the Glupteba UEFI Bootkit

Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) Glupteba, an advanced piece of malware, has been used in several cybercriminal attacks for more than a decade now. But Palo Alto's Unit 42 only brought to light one of the features that made it so effective - its Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) bootkit component, which allowed it to intervene and control the operating system (OS) boot process and be extremely difficult to detect and remove, last November 2023. more

Hunting for TimbreStealer Malware Artifacts in the DNS

WhoisXML API A new info-stealing malware called "TimbreStealer" is in town. Cisco Talos detected its distribution through a phishing campaign targeting Mexico. more

A Glimpse into the Global Domain Registration Trends Seen in Q1 2024

WhoisXML API After analyzing 21+ million newly registered domains (NRDs) added from 1 January to 31 March 2024, our researchers found that the new domain registration volume declined by about 32% from the previous quarter. more

Uncovering Suspicious Download Pages Linked to App Installer Abuse

WhoisXML API Threat actors have been abusing App Installer, a Windows 10 feature that makes installing applications more convenient. The abuse could lead to ransomware distribution and was likely carried out by financially motivated actors Storm-0569, Storm-1113, Sangria Tempest, and Storm-1674. more

On the DNS Trail of the Rise of macOS Backdoors

WhoisXML API macOS has been gaining the unwanted attention of more and more backdoor operators since late 2023. In February 2024, Bitdefender uncovered RustDoor, which was written in Rust and possibly has ties to the operators of a Windows ransomware. more