Thursday, 3 September 2015

Web Address Explosion is Bonanza for Cyber-Criminals

Cyber_Crime

Explosion in Internet Addresses

According to an industry study which had been published recently, an explosion in various new Internet addresses has developed opportunities for criminals misusing shady domains like zip. kim. or party. The attackers are on the prowl of new domains like urging users in downloading malware and divulge personal data or spam their friends and a liberalisation of the Web had increased the number of top level domains tenfold in the last two years.

An investigation of tens of millions of websites had been conducted by enterprise security company Blue Coat and found that the most dangerous top level domain – TLDs were .zip, .review and country, while the safest new ones were .london, .tel and .church.

Blue Coat mentioned in its study that TLDs ideally would all be run by security-conscious operators who diligently review new domain name applications and reject those which do not meet a severe set of criteria and the reality for several of these new neighbourhoods is that this does not occur. The body which tends to manage the Web identifiers, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - ICANN, had launched an initiative in order to expand the number of TLDs to encourage competition and choice online.

Generic Top-Level Domains

Initially there were only six not including country codes like .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .net and .org. Enterprises interested in selling new TLDs had to pay $185,000 by way of fee to internet industry regulator – ICANN and demonstrate that they had the potential of running a registry.

They are presently in the process of introducing more than a thousand new web address endings which is known as generic top-level domains. The extent of the global Web domain name sales market seems to be hard to determine since several sales are private and sought-after domains tend to change hands for millions of dollars though more vague ones could be had for about 99 cents.

The world’s largest accredited registrar of domain names, - GoDaddy (GDDY.IN) had made sales of $1.4 billion last year and was worth at $3 billion in an earlier public offering this year. This year, Bain Capital had bought Blue Coat for $2.4 billion in an indication of strength of demand for cyber security technology.

Unscrupulous Operators on the Lookout of Hold Companies to Ransom

Law firm Hugh James clarifies that the cyber squatters tend to buy addresses alike those of well-known companies or which they expect that the companies may need in the future. The cyber criminals then expect to sell the web address for an overstated sum or profit from the extra web traffic resulting from well-known brand appearing high in online searches, boosting their own advertising revenue.

Around 198 cybersquatting disputes have been registered over the last eight months in comparison to the 48 in the first eight months after the new naming system had been introduced. This comprise of Red Bull which had challenged the use of `redbull.vodka’ and Laura Ashley had challenged the use of lauraashley.email. Tracey Singlehurst-Ward, Senior Associate at Hugh James had stated that, `businesses are being forced to spend time and money in these disputes. Tech-savvy, though often unscrupulous operators are on the lookout to hold established companies to ransom.

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