Articles about domain names

It's official: .corp, .home, .mail will never be top-level domains on the 'net

You will never be able to own an official .home, .mail or .corp domain name or email address on the public internet. It means if you have machines called things like storage.home or buildserver.corp on your home or private business network, you can be sure no one will be able to buy domains like storage.home or buildserver. …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2018

.UK overseer Nominet abandons its own charitable foundation – and why this matters

Special report Nominet, which runs the UK's domain-name registry, has abandoned its own charitable foundation, raising questions about the organization's direction and accountability. In an email earlier this week, CEO Russell Haworth stunned members of the non-profit, public-interest outfit by announcing that he was withdrawing from the …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

Two things will survive a nuclear holocaust: Cockroaches and crafty URLs like ғасеьоок.com

It's been known for a long while that people can use similar-looking non-Roman characters to create internet addresses that look similar to real ones. These dishonest URLs have been doing the rounds for years. And, sadly, the abuse of homographs to craft dodgy web addresses continues well into this day, according to security …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018
HMRC photo via Shutterstock

UK taxman has domain typo-squatter stripped of HMRC web addresses

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has insisted on having a Panama company trading as the “Whois Foundation” formally stripped of a handful of dodgy web domains, even though the firm instantly offered to hand them over when challenged. The sites, hmrc-onlines.co.uk, hmrc-tax.co.uk, hdmrc.co.uk and hmrcsubmitareturn.co.uk, were …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Jan 2018
Man confused by laptop

Wondering why your internal .dev web app has stopped working?

Network admins, code wranglers and other techies have hit an unusual problem this week: their test and development environments have vanished. Rather than connecting to private stuff on an internal .dev domain to pick up where they left off, a number of engineers and sysadmins are facing an error message in their web browser …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Nov 2017

ICANN gives domain souks permission to tell it the answer to Whois privacy law debacle

Internet overlord ICANN has hit on an ingenious solution to the impending collision of the domain name system's Whois service and incoming European privacy legislation: let everyone else figure it out. Following a week of testy meetings in which domain registries and registrars complained they face business-destroying fines if …

Dell forgot to renew PC data recovery domain, so a squatter bought it

Dell forgot to re-register a domain name that many PCs it has sold use to do fresh installs of their operating systems. The act of omission was spotted by a third-party who stands accused of using it to spread malware. The domain in question is www.dellbackupandrecoverycloudstorage.com, which offers anodyne information about …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2017
IBM PC

IBM broke its cloud by letting three domain names expire

Back in September, IBM was left red-faced when its global load balancer and reverse DNS services fell over for 21 hours. At the time, IBM blamed the outage on a third-party domain name registrar that was transferring some domains to another registrar. The sending registrar, IBM said, accidentally put the domains in a “hold …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2017
Australia with ethernet cable

Australian government launches review of .au domain

Australia will conduct a review of how the nation's .au top level domain is managed. Minister for communications Mitch Fifield says it's needed because current arrangements have been in place since the year 2001, when the not-for-profit .au Domain Administration (auDA) got the job of operating and managing the .au domain. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2017

Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Analysis In an effort to block Amazon from getting the top-level domain .amazon, Brazil may have put governments on a crash course with the private sector over control of the web. In an aggressive and contradictory letter [PDF] on Wednesday to the overseer of the internet's domain name system, ICANN, Brazilian technology minister …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2017

¡Dios mío! Spain blocks DNS to hush Catalonian independence vote sites

As a controversial referendum on the independence of Catalonia draws near, the Spanish government has expanded efforts to shut it down, even blocking access to some websites. After a number of .cat websites covering the referendum were aggressively shut down by the authorities, pro-independence groups set up new websites at …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2017

China's cyber court opens for business; a gavel-free zone?

China has just opened a new court that will solely deal with internet-related cases. Based in Hangzhou – where many large Chinese internet companies are located – the Net Court (Hangzhou Internet Court) will hear cases covering everything from domain names to ecommerce disputes to online defamation. The court accepts …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Aug 2017

Scrutiny? We've heard of it. Dot-UK supremo Nominet goes dark

The operator of the .uk top-level domain, Nominet, has become the latest internet registry to vote itself into greater secrecy. Earlier this year, the biz emailed its members to let them know that a month earlier the Nominet board had decided that it would no longer publish minutes of its meetings but instead supply an "update …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Aug 2017

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

A proposal to tightly lock down localhost as a reserved top-level domain name has bubbled up to the surface again at the Internet Engineering Task Force. The hostname localhost is used just about everywhere: it's useful for referring to the computer you're using in front of you, or whatever machine a piece of software is …

After we ran our article about the fate of .sk, the nation of Slovakia flew into a rage. And now, here's part two...

Analysis A campaign to convince the Slovakian government to halt the sale of the .sk registry has nothing to do with money or politics, it is claimed. Earlier this month, we reported on a string of articles, speeches and open letters that alleged the country's top-level domain was effectively stolen in 1999 – and that the goal of this …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2017

Marketing giant Marketo forgets to renew domain name. Hilarity ensues

With a perfect dose of irony, a biz that sells automated marketing software online failed to automatically renew its dotcom. Silicon Valley-based Marketo started receiving customer complaints Tuesday morning that its reporting systems weren't working. Since the corp's marketing emails use "marketo.com" links to track user …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jul 2017

Bloke takes over every .io domain by snapping up crucial name servers

A blunder during a handover of the .io registry allowed a security researcher to potentially take control of more than 270,000 .io domains. Late Friday, Matthew Bryant noticed an unusual response to some test code he was using to map top-level domains: several of the .io authoritative name servers were available to register. …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jul 2017

Behind the scenes of Slovaks' fight to liberate their .sk domain

Analysis The Slovak internet community is pressuring its government to block the sale of the country's .sk internet registry, asking for it to "be returned to the people of Slovakia." Having run the top-level domain (TLD) for over a decade, registry operator SK-NIC announced earlier this year that it was planning to sell .sk and was in …

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