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News from Identifier Technology Health Indicators (ITHI)

ICANN recently organized an ITHI workshop in its Washington DC office on September 7th. We had 18 participants, 11 of them from the community, representing a variety of stakeholders: DNS operators, registry operators, registrars, ISPs, content providers, government, etc.

First, Amy Bivins from the Global Domains Division (GDD) presented the beta version of the gTLD Marketplace Health Index. The beta version was published in July and available here. Staff is now analyzing public comments and preparing to kick off a second round of work with a community Advisory Panel to expand and refine this set of marketplace metrics. Then the discussions were organized around two technical ITHI segments: DNS operation and DNS registration.

In the DNS operation category, we first looked at things that can be observed at the DNS root servers. From a set of measurements done on May 18th 2016, only 26% of queries resulted in a delegation that is useful to the resolver. Others queries resulted in either errors (4%) or the indication that the requested name did not exist (NX domain, 70%). Even more surprising, if proper caching had been done by DNS resolvers, only 0.5% of the queries should have been sent!

More analysis could be done on the data collected at root servers. For example, we could look at the presence of certain DNS options to track the adoption over time of particular new DNS technologies.

A second part of the discussion on DNS operation was centered on various perspectives on Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks utilizing the DNS infrastructure as an amplifier and the lack of deployment of BCP38 (ingress filtering at the ISP level) that would block attackers from spoofing IP addresses.

In the DNS registration category, the discussion revolved around looking at the fraction of newly registered names that end up in some form of anti-abuse list. We could track this percentage on a daily basis per registry/registrar or TLD. We could also look at the "attack window" or time it takes from the first appearance on the Internet of an abusive name to the moment it appears in various anti-abuse lists.

The discussions were lively and the participants remained engaged until late in the evening.

What is next?

First, ICANN will organize another ITHI workshop at the M3AAWG meeting in October in Paris. Then, GDD and OCTO/ITHI will lead a high interest session at ICANN57 in Hyderabad.

We invite you to participate in these upcoming events!

For more information visit:


    kaharuddin  02:31 UTC on 24 September 2016

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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."