Feeds

ICANN condemns registry DNS redirection

No typo-squatting for SiteFinder set

High performance access to file storage

The group that oversees the internet's address system is taking a hard stance against domain name registries that redirect internet users to third-party sites when a non-existent URL is typed.

Earlier this week, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said the practice - known as NXDOMAIN substitution and DNS redirection - threatens net stability and deteriorates user experience. In a memorandum (PDF) published Tuesday, ICANN went on to reiterate that all managers of newly created top-level domains would be prohibited from following the practice under draft rules now being considered.

The proposed restriction is aimed at preventing the kind of controversy that was created in 2003 when VeriSign introduced a service that automatically redirected all mistyped addresses ending in .com and .net to a proprietary website. Internet purists howled in protest, arguing that VeriSign's SiteFinder breached time-honored practices for handling mistyped or non-existent addresses. (VeriSign soon dropped the service).

ICANN's prohibition is aimed at managers of so-called registry-class domain names, or RCDNs, better described as the registries that act as the gate keepers for top-level domains such as .com, .info, or .biz.

"Normally if someone wants to make use of a domain, they have to register it (and pay a fee for the right to use it)," ICANN's memo states. "In the case of NXDOMAIN substitution in a RCDN, the registry would be making use (and perhaps profit) from all or a subset of the uninstantiated domains without having registered or paid for them."

It would appear that the prohibition, which was discussed in June during an ICANN meeting in Australia, has no effect on internet service providers and other services that redirect subscribers who type non-existent addresses. Services including Comcast, Verizon, and Virgin have been known to offer such services, often with no warning or easy way for users to turn it off.

Other services, most notably, OpenDNS, have built an entire business off of the practice. What sets this last one against the rest is that it's entirely opt-in. That means users who want to prevent themselves from accidentally ending up at a harmful site because they mistyped a URL have to go through the trouble of configuring their systems to use the service.

VeriSign's SiteFinder, by contrast, didn't. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.