Skip to main content

Eastern Europe Cybersecurity Tour, Redux

Eastern europe cybersecurity tour 3600x2025 23oct17 en

From 9-15 October, I spent a busy week of Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) cybersecurity engagements in Budapest and Visegrád, Hungary and Minsk, Belarus.

Gabriella Schittek and I met in Budapest with representatives of the Hírközlési Tudományos Egyesület (HTE), the Scientific Association for Infocommunications in Hungary to discuss possible Central and Eastern European collaboration, training and engagement in the country and surrounding region. From our interactions, HTE came across as a potentially important partner in raising regional awareness about the ICANN organization, Internet governance, and ICANN's various security, stability, resiliency and research initiatives. We then drove to Visegrád to meet with regional data protection agency representatives. During the meeting, Gabriella convened a panel to explain ICANN's multistakeholder model and data protection initiatives. As for me, I gave a presentation explaining cybercrime and WHOIS, focusing on the ways criminals misuse WHOIS and how investigators use it today, to pursue accountability when domain name registrations are exploited to commit harmful acts against Internet users.

From Budapest, I traveled to Minsk, Belarus, to participate in the second Eastern European DNS Forum (EEDNSF). I gave a presentation entitled Emerging threats to DNS – new lessons on the opening day, and later participated in a plenary session entitled DNS threats and international cooperation, where I reported on the Office of the CTO's Domain Abuse Activity Reporting System (DAAR). On day two, I joined Jonne Soininen, ICANN Board member and Head of Open Source Initiatives at Nokia, on a plenary panel, Priorities in DNS industry: is it all about security? where the panelists shared policy, deployment, and technology challenges that the DNS industry faces as the Internet contends with the Internet of Things and beyond. Alexandra Kulikova did outstanding work coordinating a very successful event with local host, Alexandra had terrific on-site support from the communications (Luna Madi and Buket Coskuner), meetings (Maya Saito and Sarah Caplis), and security operations teams (Olly Kay).

Engagement-filled trips like these require advanced coordination between the IS SSR team and Global Stakeholder Engagements. On behalf of our team, I thank all the GSE staff, and for this trip in particular, Gabriella Schittek and Alexandra Kulikova, who invested long hours scheduling and preparing for our visits and graciously provided in-region support.


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."