Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Background on Fast Flux Hosting

The ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) completed a study of fast flux hosting in March 2008. Because fast flux hosting involves many different players — the cybercriminals and their victims, Internet service providers, companies that provide web hosting services, and DNS registries and registrars — there are many potential approaches to mitigation. Most of these will require the cooperation of a variety of actors, and some will be outside of ICANN's scope.

On 26 March 2008, Staff posted an Issues Report on fast flux hosting, as directed by the GNSO Council. In the Report, Staff recommends that the GNSO sponsor additional fact-finding and research to develop best practices concerning fast flux hosting. Staff also notes that it may be appropriate for the ccNSO to participate in such an activity.

At its 8 May 2008 meeting, the GNSO Council formally launched a policy development process (PDP), rejected a task force approach and called for creation of a Working Group on fast flux. Subsequently, at its 29 May 2008 meeting, the GNSO Council approved a Working Group charter to consider the following questions:

  • Who benefits from fast flux, and who is harmed?
  • Who would benefit from cessation of the practice and who would be harmed?
  • Are registry operators involved, or could they be, in fast flux hosting activities? If so, how?
  • Are registrars involved in fast flux hosting activities? If so, how?
  • How are registrants affected by fast flux hosting?
  • How are Internet users affected by fast flux hosting?
  • What technical (e.g. changes to the way in which DNS updates operate) and policy (e.g. changes to registry/registrar agreements or rules governing permissible registrant behavior) measures could registries and registrars implement to mitigate the negative effects of fast flux?
  • What would be the impact (positive or negative) of establishing limitations, guidelines, or restrictions on registrants, registrars and/or registries with respect to practices that enable or facilitate fast flux hosting?
  • What would be the impact of these limitations, guidelines, or restrictions to product and service innovation?
  • What are some of the best practices available with regard to protection from fast flux?

The group also will obtain expert opinion, as appropriate, on which areas of fast flux are in scope and out of scope for GNSO policy making.

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