Pressure mounts for ICANN to open up the next round of new gTLDs after report highlighted .COM and NameSilo as “most-abused” TLDs and registrar


This quarter, the SpamHaus researchers have observed a 12% reduction in newly observed botnet command and controllers (C&Cs), which is good news! However, it wasn’t good news for everyone as the report also highlighted that the gTLD (global Top Level Domain) .COM was once again top of their rankings for “most abused” TLDs. Moreover, the number of newly registered botnet C&C domains observed on .COM increased by 166%, from 1,549 to 4,113! Ouch!

In addition, they saw an enormous 594% increase of newly registered botnet C&C domains at the US domain registrar NameSilo, knocking Namecheap off their number one spot. This was quite a feat considering that NameCheap also saw a 52% increase in newly registered botnet C&C domains. These are huge numbers!

Following the release of this report, we have seen a lot of activity in the industry pushing for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to open up the next round of gTLDs to allow more safe spaces to be created.


What’s the history here?

When the internet got big and everyone out there was getting a domain name for their personal or business homepage, there were only a handful of options available to the general public. Which is why .com became synonymous with “domain name”. Dot-com had the advantage of being there first and was by far the most successful.

But in 2000 we saw a change. ICANN opened up a handful of new TLDs and then in 2012, the floodgates really opened up when ICANN started accepting applications for new gTLDs. They received thousands of applications and have so far approved just over 1200.


Will the next round of new gTLDs provide safer spaces for businesses?

New gTLDs have received mixed reviews in the industry with many reporting that they are only registered by spammers and/or infringers. This may well be the case for a certain percentage. Therefore, when considering registering a new gTLD, it is essential to carefully consider the following:

  • Research your registrar – a quick look at the SpamHuis report (or other sources) can easily highlight those registry operators with the most abused new gTLDs. This should be a red flag to you as it is a strong indication that they compete on price alone and are not really considering the registrant’s intention and/or any potential infringements. This could impact your domains on a number of levels.
  • Get advice – once you have chosen your registrar, speak to them about what make sense for your portfolio. They will be able to highlight which points to consider and the best strategy to take. For example, the next round of gTLDs will likely include a lot of dot-brand names. Is this a good approach for your company? Or is it too early for your target market?

Ultimately, it is good to approach gTLDs with a healthy dose of scepticism, but do not rule them out. With the right support and advice, you can achieve the desired results.


Lastly, be extra careful of cyber-attacks as we enter the summer holiday period

With the number of phishing attacks soaring, it is important to be extra cautious, especially during the holiday period. Cybercriminals use the lack of vigilance of the victims to achieve their goals. It is therefore easy to understand why cybercriminals focus on holiday periods to multiply their campaigns. This is actually the reason for the surge in phishing attacks in 2020 with the global pandemic situation providing the perfect playground for cyberattacks as cyber criminals become more and more resourceful and diverse in their attempts to trick their victims.

Read our previous article on phishing and learn how to protect yourself.


What is your opinion on moving to the next round of gTLDs?

Want to understand more about how to best protect your domains, or chat about your thoughts on new gTLDS, contact us here.

Read the full SpamHaus report here.

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