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ICANN and SGNIC Conduct Workshop to Help Singapore Internet Community Combat DNS Abuse and Cybercrime

SINGAPORE… The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC) convened today, with experts from Singapore government agencies and Internet service and solutions providers, to conduct a workshop on methods and strategies to investigate and handle Domain Name System (DNS) abuse.

The DNS translates domain names into IP addresses. This system ensures that anyone who enters a domain name or web address (e.g., www.icann.org) is directed to its corresponding site, defined by its IP address (192.0.34.163).

DNS abuse covers a wide range of activities. While no globally accepted definition exists, examples of DNS abuse include cybercrime and hacking. Another tactic is malicious registrations; whereby malicious actors register a domain name fraudulently for the express purpose of carrying out destructive acts such as distributing malware. Malicious actors also use shortened URLs – lengthy domain addresses that are compacted – to obfuscate a domain name and redirect unsuspecting users to malicious sites.

To help the Singapore Internet community better handle such abuses, ICANN and SGNIC organized a workshop to help them understand the different mitigation techniques against DNS abuse incidents.

Mr. Queh Ser Pheng, General Manager of SGNIC, noted that many industry practitioners may not be readily equipped with the techniques to detect and mitigate exploits on domain names. He said, "With pervasive Internet usage in Singapore and the growing cybersecurity threats, SGNIC hopes that this initiative will help to raise awareness of DNS abuse with service providers and professionals."

Mr. Queh added, "We are delighted that ICANN and SGNIC are strategically aligned in our fight against DNS abuse, and we welcome this collaboration with ICANN."

"As the coordinator of the Internet's global DNS, ICANN's mission is to help preserve and enhance the stability, security and resiliency of the DNS by working with the global Internet community. Besides industry practitioners, we also work with law enforcement agencies to help equip them to conduct investigations into DNS abuse," said Mr. Jia-Rong Low, Vice President and Managing Director for ICANN Asia Pacific. "The ICANN APAC hub office is in Singapore, and we are proud to be able to contribute to the community here."

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Media Contacts

ICANN
Fiona Aw

Global Communications Coordinator
Tel: +65 6816 1264
Email: fiona.aw@icann.org

SGNIC/IDA
Adrian Chan

Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communications Division
Tel: +65 6211 1510
Email: Adrian_KM_Chan@ida.gov.sg

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to 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 not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information, visit: http://www.icann.org.

About SGNIC

The mission of Singapore Network Information Centre Pte Ltd (SGNIC) is to provide Internet registry and information services in an efficient, effective and reliable manner to enhance the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure in Singapore and to foster the integrity and growth of .sg domain names. For more news and information, visit http://www.sgnic.sg.

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."