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Press Release: ICANN Reports DNS Abuse is Trending Downward Globally

Domain Name System (DNS) Coordinator Publishes a Report Relying on Four Years of Data

LOS ANGELES – 17 May 2022 – In a recently published report, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) indicated that the global sum of DNS abuse dropped in "absolute terms and normalized rates" over the last four years, from October 2017 to January 2022. Globally, in January 2022, less than one percent of domain names were reported to pose potential threats to users.

ICANN's Office of the Chief Technology Officer provides subject-matter expertise and has developed special projects such as the Domain Name Security Threat Information Collection and Reporting (DNSTICR) and the Domain Abuse Activity Reporting System (DAAR) to monitor and report potential security threat domains. DAAR produces monthly reports that demonstrate concentrations of security threat domain names via visuals and aggregated statistics.

ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby commenting on the recent publication of the report, stated, "Part of our responsibility as a neutral technical operator of the Internet is to actively share facts and data so that policymakers can make informed policy decisions. These efforts are in line with our commitment to ensure that the Internet is safe, stable and resilient." He added that, "This is the only report of its kind to measure data over a four-year period. Most reports track rates of DNS abuse over several months. However, despite the downward trend depicted in the report, there is still much to do. The threats against Internet users are real and changing fast."

ICANN defines DNS abuse in five broad categories of harmful activity: botnets, malware, pharming, phishing and spam (as it is used to propagate other DNS security threats). ICANN's Bylaws and mission do not permit ICANN to regulate the content of websites.

The report is the latest result of ICANN's broad-ranging efforts to assess, monitor and mitigate DNS security threats. For instance, ICANN's Contractual Compliance team enforces the contractual obligations set forth in ICANN's policies and agreements and publishes notices of breach, suspension, termination and non-renewal in relation to the registrar's compliance with DNS abuse obligations. They also regularly audit how registrars, the entities that offer domain name registration services, and registries, the entities that manage registrations in their top-level domains, are fulfilling their contractual obligations related to DNS abuse.

To learn more about DNS abuse and what ICANN is doing to help understand and mitigate it, visit the program webpage at


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.

Media Contact

Alexandra Dans
Communications Director, The Americas
Montevideo, Uruguay
+598 95 831 442

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."