en

ICANN Publishes New Report on Domain Registrations Related to COVID-19

LOS ANGELES - 12 November 2021

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers organization (ICANN org) is pleased to announce the publication of a new report, Registrations Related to COVID-19: 18 Months of Data through its Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO). The report outlines one of ICANN's many efforts to keep the Domain Name System (DNS) secure, stable, and resilient. The report found that, depending on the strength of evidence required, between 1.8% to 6.1% of domains examined could be involved with phishing or malware.

Following the inception of the COVID-19 global pandemic, bad actors began malware and phishing attacks on unsuspecting Internet users. Many headline-grabbing reports cited large numbers of potentially abusive domains on the Internet, but the reports offered limited information about their collection methodology, definitions, and so on, meaning that they could not be easily verified.

In response, ICANN org developed the Domain Name Security Threat Information Collection and Reporting (DNSTICR) project. DNSTICR produces customized reports on recent domain registrations that use COVID-19 pandemic terminology in multiple languages. Lists of potentially troubling domains are combined with third party background information to provide a fuller context on their activities. The project reports and tracks these security threats and gives up-to-date and actionable intelligence to registrars and others who are able to disrupt these malicious campaigns.

This is yet another example of ICANN's expertise contributing to DNS security threat mitigation efforts. For more information on ICANN's DNSTICR project, click here. For more information on ICANN's DNS security threat mitigation program, click here.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.