Afilias have announced policy changes to make .info they hope will be an effective deterrence to abuses such as phishing and spam and make surfing the internet a safer experience. The new policies come into effect on 6 November.
“This policy is the result of over a year of dedicated work by Afilias to understand and curtail the abusive use of domain names, and to design effective deterrents,” said Ram Mohan, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Afilias. “.INFO’s tremendous overall popularity has attracted criminals online, as do many other domains, so we are taking further firm action to protect users by improving detection and enforcement actions.”
.info has over five million registered domain names and, according to McAfee’s Site Advisor report, is the most risky gTLD with 11.8 per cent of all sites they tested rated red or yellow. This compares to .com, rated the ninth riskiest overall with 5.3 per cent of domains rated red or yellow.
According to the Site Advisor report, visiting a red website is one to be avoided and for a yellow one, the internet user should use caution.
The level of risk for .info domain names increased from 2007 to 2008, with an increase in the number of risky .info websites rising from 7.5 to 11.7 per cent of all sites.
Under the new policy, abusive use has been more clearly defined and includes, but is not limited to: phishing, e-mail spam and other types of spam, the wilful distribution of malware, the use of botnets and fast-flux hosting, distribution of child pornography, illegal access to other computers or networks, and other illegal or fraudulent actions. Domains that are being abused will be reported to the sponsoring registrar, and Afilias has the option of removing them from the DNS and reporting the abuser to law enforcement. Afilias is committed to working closely with its registrars, legal authorities, security professionals, and others to rid the Internet of the scourge of domain abuse.
“This is a positive step forward demonstrating how registries can take positive actions to increase protection against security threats such as spam, phishing and malware,” said Steven Crocker, Chair of ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee. “We applaud Afilias’ efforts to deter such abusive practices.”
The 2008 Site Advisor report is available from www.siteadvisor.com/studies/map_malweb_jun2008.pdf.
The Afilias news release announcing the policy changes is available from info.info/news/2008/10/07/afilias-announces-new-policy-make-info-even-safer-internet-users. It includes a link to full details of the .INFO Anti-Abuse Policy.
To register your .info domain name, check out Europe Registry here.