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ICANN posts guidelines to avoid gTLD mix-ups

Admins advised to watch out for name collisions

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued a set of resources to help administrators avoid potentially costly mix-ups ahead of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) rollout.

The company said that its new set of guides will show network admins how to check for, remedy and guard against "name collision" errors related to the changes in the gTLD structure and resulting DNS server updates.

ICANN said that the issue of name collisions arises when administrators create their own domains for use with internal networks. Such networks, which may use a domain such as ".ourcompany" to denote an internal system, previously did not have to worry about any conflicts with external servers that used the .com or .org suffix.

With the new gTLDs in place, however, such servers could run a risk with becoming mistakenly identified with a new external ".ourcompany" or other gTLD address and having DNS traffic mistakenly rerouted. Such collisions could impact systems such as internal servers, email platforms, and network appliances.

ICANN said that while such DNS collisions are expected to be rare, similar issues have arisen in the past with domains such as the Czech .cs, which saw conflicts with the internal domain some universities used for their Computer Science departments.

The corporation said that administrators should be aware of the issue and adopt a basic set of preparations and procedures to move to fully-qualified domain names (FQDNs) in case they do find that one of their internal networks is experiencing a DNS collision with a new gTLDs.

"The report we've issued today offers IT professionals, whether they work in large organizations or small companies, comprehensive advice and suggested remedies that can be simple to implement," said Dave Piscitello, ICANN vice president of security and ICT coordination.

"While other interim or makeshift solutions may exist, migration using FQDNs has lasting value – once you've done this, you are good to go for now and future new TLD delegations." ®

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