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Verisign Publishes 2nd Part of 4 Part Series On Why Domain Blocking Of New gTLD’s Isn’t Good Enough

Posted on the 08 November 2013 by Worldwide @thedomains

Verisign just released the second in a four part series of why ICANN’s effort to fix the potential collision issue caused by the release of new gTLD’s, by blocking domain registrations, isn’t good enough to fix the potential problems

Here is the second post of the promised four part series:

For several years, DNS-OARC has been collecting DNS query data “from busy and interesting DNS name servers” as part of an annual “Day-in-the-Life” (DITL) effort (an effort originated by CAIDA in 2002) that I discussed in the first blog post in this series.

DNS-OARC currently offers eight such data sets, covering the queries to many but not all of the 13 DNS root servers (and some non-root data) over a two-day period or longer each year from 2006 to present.

With tens of billions of queries, the data sets provide researchers with a broad base of information about how the world is interacting with the global DNS as seen from the perspective of root and other name server operators.

In order for second level domain (SLD) blocking to mitigate the risk of name collisions for a given gTLD, it must be the case that the SLDs associated with at-risk queries occur with sufficient frequency and geographical distribution to be captured in the DITL data sets with high probability.  Because it is a purely quantitative countermeasure, based only on the occurrence of a query, not the context around it, SLD blocking does not offer a model for distinguishing at-risk queries from queries that are not at risk.  Consequently, SLD blocking must make a stronger assumption to be effective:  that any queries involving a given SLD occur with sufficient frequency and geographical distribution to be captured with high probability.

Put another way, the DITL data set – limited in time to an annual two-day period and in space to the name servers that participate in the DITL study – offers only a sample of the queries from installed systems, not statistically significant evidence of their behavior and of which at-risk queries are actually occurring.

A concrete example will illustrate the point.  Continuing the observations and analysis started in New gTLD Security and Stability Considerations and New gTLD Security, Stability, Resiliency Update: Exploratory Consumer Impact Analysis, Verisign Labs analyzed the SLDs in queries for 14 applied-for gTLDs at the A and J root servers during the period from July 16 to October 19, 2013.…


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