ICANN launches project to look at what drives malicious domain name registrations

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has launched a project to explore the practices and choices of malicious actors when they decide to use the domain names of certain registrars over others. The project, called Inferential Analysis of Maliciously Registered Domains (INFERMAL), will systematically analyse the preferences of cyberattackers and possible measures to mitigate malicious activities across top-level domains (TLDs). It is funded as part of ICANN’s Domain Name System (DNS) Security Threat Mitigation Program, which aims to reduce the prevalence of DNS security threats across the Internet.

The team leading the project intends to collect and analyse a comprehensive list of domain name registration policies pertinent to would-be attackers, and then use statistical modelling to identify the registration factors preferred by attackers. It is expected that the findings of the project could help registrars and registries identify relevant DNS anti-abuse practices, strengthen the self-regulation of the overall domain name industry, and reduce the costs associated with domain regulations. The project would also help increase the security levels of domain names and, thus, the trust of end-users.

ICANN moves closer to launching a new gTLD round

A little over 10 years after the New gTLD Program which saw the delegation of over 1,000 new generic top-level domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is now moving closer to launching a new gTLD round. At the ICANN76 Community Forum in Mexico, the ICANN Board adopted a series of recommendations made in the context of what within the ICANN community is known as the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process. The approval of these recommendations (with some more requiring further discussions) marks ‘the start of the implementation process for the next round of new gTLDs’.

The Board also directed ICANN to deliver a comprehensive implementation plan, including a work plan, information for the infrastructure design, timelines, and anticipated resource requirements to achieve the necessary work to open the next round of gTLDs no later than 1 August 2023. The organisation can spend up to US$9 million to fund the implementation work through 31 October 2023.

Another Board decision was to direct ICANN to promote the New gTLD Program to prospective applicants, particularly those in underserved and underrepresented regions.

IANA stewardship transition

The IANA stewardship transition process, which spanned over two years, concludes with the expiration of the IANA functions contract between ICANN and the US government, and the transition of the IANA functions stewardship to the global internet community. The process started in March 2014, when the US government announced its intention to delegate its oversight role to a global multistakeholder community. Starting October 2016, the IANA functions are performed by the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), an affiliate of ICANN.

Decision to organise WSIS

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference held in November 1998 in Minneapolis puts the basis of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Adopted at the conference, Resolution 73:
– Instructs the ITU Secretary-General ‘to place the question of holding a world summit on the information society on the agenda of the United Nations Administrative Committee on Coordination;
– Instructs the ITU Council to ‘consider and decide on the Union’s contribution to the holding of a world summit on the information society’.

Establishment of ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is established to coordinate main internet technical resources. Until September 2016, ICANN was mandated by the United States Department of Commerce to perform the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) functions, including globally alocating Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and other numbering resources to the Regional Internet Registers (RIRs), introducing changes to the main DNS root zone file (the global Internet ‘address book’), and managing the .INT top-level domain. Starting October 2016, these functions are performed by ICANN’s affiliate Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), following the transition of the IANA functions stewardship from the US government to the global multistakeholder community.

The World Wide Web becomes public domain

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web (www) while working at CERN. On 30 April 1993, CERN puts the www software in the public domain, and later makes a release available with an open licence, paving the way for the web to flourish.

Establishment of IETF

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is established to coordinate the operation, management, and evolution of the internet.


The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), developed in the 1970s, is adopted as the sole protocol standard for the US government-sponsored Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANet). ARPANet evolves into what is known today as the internet.