ICANN publishes draft recommendations on how gTLD registries may respond to security threats

14 Jun 2017

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has published a draft Framework for the Registry Operators to Respond to Security Threats, asking for comments from the Internet community. The draft Framework is aimed to provide non-binding guidance on how registry operators of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) may respond to security threats. It gives an overview of the security issues law enforcement face, and outlines options available for operators to address them. Examples of actions that operators can take in response to security threats include holding the domain name so it does not resolve, locking the domain name so it cannot be changed, transferring the domain names, and deleting the domain names (a measure recommended to be taken with careful due consideration and direction for appropriate authorities.

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Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss. 

Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.

Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.

The Domain Name System (DNS) handles Internet domain names (such as www.google.com) and converts them to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers (and the other way around).


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