Relaxing domain name rules increases web vulnerabilities

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Relaxing domain name rules increases web vulnerabilities

Simon Quicke

Despite the apparent backing of the introduction of more flexibility into the naming of domains on the web concerns have been raised around internet security.

The net regulator Icann yesterday voted unanimously to relax its rules on dmonain names .com and .uk enabling companies to use their brands as a web address and even giving individuals the chance to turn their names into addresses.

As it stands users have a limited range of 21 top level domains to choose from - names that we are all familiar with like .com, .org, .info. but that will now change.

In a statement Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN said there was huge potential for change: "It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the Net."

But from a security perspective Pete Simpson, ThreatLab Manager at Clearswift, said that changes to domain names would have an impact on vulnerabilities.

"Using suffixes such as .gamble or .xxx, is like a big illuminated sign pointing out that thousands of people's financial details are inputted into those sites every day. This is a gold mine for hackers who are employing increasingly sophisticated means of prising this information," he said.

"This decision by ICANN will revolutionise the shape of the internet and site security must keep up with these changes.," he added.

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