Nominet has introduced a Domain Lock, a tool to allow locking high-value .uk domains at the registry level, which adds an additional level of security against Domain Name System (DNS) hijacking.
The Domain Lock is one of a few significant changes for 2014, which includes a new Registrar Agreement that commenced earlier this month and the option of second level registrations, which should become available later in 2014.
It is also a service that is offered by Verisign for the TLDs it manages (.com, .net, .tv, .cc and .name). Other TLDs to offer a Domain Lock include .biz, .au and .ca. Domain Locks came to prominence after the New York Times domain name (nytimes.com) was maliciously hijacked to redirect visitors to websites controlled by the attackers in August 2013.
The Domain Lock tool inserts additional, manual authentication requirements into the processes for modifying domain names.
The tool is targeted at high-traffic websites with substantial brand protection and security interests but can be applied to any .uk domain.
DNS hijacking occurs when an attacker gains unauthorised access to the DNS system and modifies registration data for malicious purposes – for example, by redirecting traffic to a different website that could display objectionable material or be used for phishing.
DNS attacks are rare, but on the increase. They have the potential to disrupt business and damage consumer confidence. Nominet is focused on offering increased security in the management and registration of domain names, and helping companies to protect their brands online.