.Bank hires Symantec to check credentials

Soon you might be able to trust that financial email

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The launch of new .bank domain names is one step closer with the announcement [PDF] that Symantec has been chosen to act as the credentials verifier for the top-level domain.

Dot-bank domains represent a new type of domain name - one restricted to a very specific group of people in order to enhance security.

Banks and financial institutions are favorite targets of spammers and phishers, so the hope is that security concerns can be eased by a strongly protected .bank registry that could open the door to more secure and hence more confident online transactions.

Symantec will play a key role in the rollout. Spokesman for the registry operator, fTLD Registry Services, Craig Schwartz, told us that the security company will check a number of things: whether the person registering the domain is authorized by the relevant company/institution to do so; whether the institution is entitled to register a .bank domain (essentially it must be an acknowledged and regulated bank or one of a small number of "core services providers" for the banking industry); that the contact details provided are accurate; and a check that the registrant is not on any blacklists.

If they pass all those checks, then the company will be provided with their own .bank domain.

The registry is due to launch early next year. The price for a .bank domain has yet to be announced but it is expected to be around $1,000 - much higher than typical consumer domains but reflecting the additional safeguards built around registrations. ®

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