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Update on ICANN’s DNS Security Threat Mitigation Program

19 July 2021

Domain Name System (DNS) abuse continues to be one of the more frequent topics of discussion and debate within the ICANN community. The ICANN organization (org) has been active in supporting the community to mitigate abuse in a variety of ways over the years, as explained in this blog from 2020. Since that time, we have expanded our approach by launching an internal cross-functional program focused on coordinating and enhancing ICANN's many efforts to support the mitigation of DNS security threats.

What Are DNS Security Threats?

As the community works toward a commonly-accepted definition of DNS abuse, ICANN org is focusing on DNS security threats as defined by the Governmental Advisory Committee and in the Base gTLD Registry Agreement as phishing, malware, botnet command and control, and pharming. In the org's program, we also include spam when used as a delivery mechanism for other security threats, sometimes called "spam as a vector."

The org's program is focused on supporting the community to mitigate DNS security threats through three primary pillars:

  1. Be recognized as a trusted source of information: Provide research, data, and expertise to help the community have fact-based discussions about the topic.
  2. Provide tools to the community: Help support mitigation of DNS security threats by developing tools for the community.
  3. Enforce contractual provisions: Enforce Registry Agreements, Registrar Accreditation Agreements, and ICANN consensus policies through audits and investigating complaints.

To learn more about ICANN efforts to support the mitigation of DNS security threats, I invite you to register and attend an upcoming webinar on 22 July 2021 at 16:00 UTC. Members from ICANN Contractual Compliance, Global Domains and Strategy (GDS), and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) teams will present current projects and activities, including contractual compliance and audits, Domain Activity Abuse Reporting (DAAR), and Domain Name Security Threat Information Collection and Reporting (DNSTICR). Also, please visit our new webpage, a central resource for ICANN's DNS security threat mitigation program activities and updates.


Russ Weinstein

Russ Weinstein

VP GDD Accounts and Services