VERISIGN TO REVEAL LATEST ENHANCEMENTS TO NAMESTUDIO API AT CLOUDFEST

Verisign is pleased to share the newest enhancements to NameStudio API, a smart domain name suggestion solution. The NameStudio API Service is designed to help domain name registrars, web-hosting companies, web builders and other businesses that offer domain name search services deliver relevant domain name suggestions to their customers.

(more…)

TOP 10 TRENDING KEYWORDS IN .COM AND .NET REGISTRATIONS IN FEBRUARY

With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. We have shown in the past that there is a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.

Keeping in the spirit of the zeitgeist that .com and .net domain name registration trends can represent, Verisign publishes this monthly blog post series identifying the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during the preceding month.

FEBRUARY 2019 TRENDING KEYWORDS

Here are the top 10 trending keywords registered in February 2019. Any surprises?

(more…)

Tech Company Takes “Dine and Dash” to a Whole New Level

WANT A LARGE tasty plate of big data? For restaurants all over the world, the answer is yes, and they get it from Venga, a fast-paced start-up based in the trendy Union Market district of Washington, D.C. Founded in 2010, Venga provides businesses in the restaurant and fitness industries the ability to collect, track and analyze guest’s spending and visiting habits to create personalized experiences and repeat visits. Verisign sat down with co-founder, Winston Lord, to learn more:

(more…)

TOP 10 TRENDING KEYWORDS IN .COM AND .NET REGISTRATIONS IN JANUARY

With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. We have shown in the past that there is a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.

Keeping in the spirit of the zeitgeist that .com and .net domain name registration trends can represent, Verisign publishes this monthly blog post series identifying the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during the preceding month.

JANUARY 2019 TRENDING KEYWORDS

Here are the top 10 trending keywords registered in January 2019. Any surprises?

(more…)

Revisiting How Registrants Can Reduce the Threat of Domain Hijacking

Recent events1,2 have shown the threat of domain hijacking is very real; however, it is also largely preventable. As Verisign previously noted3, there are many security controls that registrants can utilize to help strengthen their security posture. Verisign would like to reiterate this advice within the context of the recent domain hijacking reports.

Domains are an important element of internet infrastructure; their functionality and security rely upon many factors such as their delegated name servers. Name server delegations introduce complex and subtle inter-dependencies between domains and their authoritative name servers. Compromise of any name server in the delegation hierarchy can lead to a potential hijacking scenario. Targeted name server compromises in the delegation hierarchy can facilitate a complete hijack of a domain or set of domains, while name server compromises deeper in the delegation hierarchy may result in partial hijacking, since not all name servers in the hierarchy are involved in every DNS resolution request. A compromised name server is capable of diverting DNS requests to malicious servers controlled by threat actors and can be weaponized for phishing attacks or other nefarious purposes.

Over the past several weeks, security professionals have issued reports1, 2 about the hijacking of various domains via their name server delegations. These changes were likely made using compromised registrar credentials and are believed to be backed by a foreign nation state entity1, 2. During the attacks, the threat actors used the traffic directed to their infrastructure to launch spear phishing campaigns against various government entities in northern Africa and the Middle East. These targeted spear phishing attempts were facilitated by the transitive trust4 placed on the compromised domains and their delegated name servers.

Several of the compromised domains contained hosts that were specified as name servers for numerous top-level domains (TLDs) including country code TLDs5 in the northern African and Middle East regions. Subsequently, DNS traffic resolution for corresponding reliant zones were partially/completely routed to the threat actors’ infrastructure. This redirection of DNS traffic facilitated their ability to target specific government and industry entities in the targeted countries. While the domains did not employ a domain locking tool, some were DNSSEC6 signed, which helped mitigate the attack for resolving parties that perform validation.

As part of the response to this incident, the Department of Homeland Security issued Emergency Directive 19-017 requiring federal civilian agencies to address the risks presented by this activity. The order mandated four actions to be taken: 1) Audit DNS records, 2) Change DNS account passwords, 3) Add multi-factor authentication to DNS accounts and 4) Monitor Certificate Transparency logs.

Verisign is engaged with various industry and government entities regarding this incident and has provided technical insights into the DNS ecosystem regarding the complex mechanisms and system-to-system interactions/dependencies involved. To date, there is no evidence that the scope of compromise extends beyond the sets of credentials at various registrars.

Verisign encourages registrants to research their registrar’s security offerings and to take advantage of the tools and services they offer. Techniques such as locking services offered by registrars and registries8, two-factor authentication, password strengthening, and other common security hygiene practices9 are all best practice security recommendations that Verisign encourages and promotes.

Additional security recommendations are available in the following ICANN SSAC reports:

  • SAC04010: “Measures to Protect Domain Name Registration Service Against Exploitation or Misuse”
  • SAC04411: “A Registrant’s Guide to Protecting Domain Name Registration Accounts”
  • SAC07412: “Best Practices for Preserving Security and Stability in the Credential Management Lifecycle”

1 https://www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2019/01/global-dns-hijacking-campaign-dns-record-manipulation-at-scale.html

2 https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/widespread-dns-hijacking-activity-targets-multiple-sectors/

3http://www.circleid.com/posts/20130722_how_registrants_can_reduce_the_threat_of_domain_hijacking/ 

4https://www.usenix.org/legacy/events/imc05/tech/full_papers/ramasubramanian/ramasubramanian_html/dns.html

5 https://www.internic.net/domain/root.zone

6 https://www.verisign.com/en_US/domain-names/dnssec/how-dnssec-works/index.xhtml

7 https://cyber.dhs.gov/ed/19-01/

8 https://www.verisign.com/en_US/channel-resources/domain-registry-products/registry-lock/index.xhtml

9https://www.markmonitor.com/download/checklist/MarkMonitor_Domain_Security_Best_Practices.pdf

10 https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/sac-040-en.pdf

11 https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/sac-044-en.pdf

12 https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/sac-074-en.pdf

Tech Company Brings A Warm and Fuzzy Approach to Hosting

BEING UNCONVENTIONAL DOES pay off. Just ask Richard Feller and Jeff Chanesman, co-founders of Hedgehog Hosting, a web hosting company headquartered outside of Washington, D.C. Launched in 2001 amongst a sea of larger competitors, Hedgehog Hosting has emerged to be a premier company in the region because of their unorthodox approach in the managed hosting market. Verisign sat down with the team to find out more.

(more…)

Top 10 Trending Keywords in .Com and .Net Registrations in December

With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. We have shown in the past that there is a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.

Keeping in the spirit of the zeitgeist that .com and .net domain name registration trends can represent, Verisign publishes this monthly blog post series identifying the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during the preceding month.

December 2018 TRENDING KEYWORDS

Here are the top 10 trending keywords registered in December 2018. Any surprises?

(more…)

Top 10 Trending Keywords in .Com and .Net Registrations in November

With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. We have shown in the past that there is a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.

Keeping in the spirit of the zeitgeist that .com and .net domain name registration trends can represent, Verisign publishes this monthly blog post series identifying the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during the preceding month.

November 2018 TRENDING KEYWORDS

Here are the top 10 trending keywords registered in November 2018. Any surprises?

(more…)

VERISIGN Q3 2018 DOMAIN NAME INDUSTRY BRIEF: INTERNET GROWS TO 342.4 MILLION DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATIONS IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2018

Today, we released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which shows that the third quarter of 2018 closed with approximately 342.4 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs),  an increase of  approximately 2.6 million domain name registrations, or 0.8 percent, compared to the second quarter of 2018.1,2 Domain name registrations have grown by approximately 11.7 million, or 3.5 percent, year over year.1,2

(more…)