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3/25/2014
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Tim Wilson
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Secure Domain Foundation Launches; Will Serve As Forum For DNS Security Data Exchange

New Secure Domain Foundation will facilitate security information sharing among Internet domain registrars

A consortium of experts, security companies, and Internet infrastructure organizations banded together yesterday to launch the Secure Domain Foundation (SDF), a nonprofit organization whose goal is to facilitate information sharing among Internet domain registrars and registries.

The SDF, which is backed by organizations such as Facebook, Verizon, Verisign, and CrowdStrike, will serve as a place where Internet domain registrars and Domain Name Service (DNS) providers can share data about cyberattackers and their exploits, officials say.

"In almost all cases, one of the first things that malware actors do is register their command-and-control domains," says Chris Davis, a security researcher and president of the SDF. "If they are caught and blocked by one domain registrar, they often just move on to another one because there's no information sharing between them."

The SDF will analyze and report the email and IP addresses of bad actors, making it easier for Internet domain registrars and registries to uniformly block them, Davis says. The organization also has developed methods for recognizing potentially malicious domains and measuring the reputation of applicants to help registrars screen their applicants.

The new, free service, which was launched at ICANN's annual meeting in Singapore, will help support new requirements for due diligence in domain registry, officials say.

"ICANN has recently mandated that domain registrars must validate postal addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses that are provided as contact information during the domain registration process," says Norm Ritchie, chairman of the SDF. "And many new [generic top-level domain] registries have already pledged to take a more proactive role in combating domain abuse within their TLDs.

"The SDF provides an entirely free service that not only validates the contact registration data provided, but also lets the registrar and registry know if we have seen that data used previously in relation to cybercrime," Ritchie says.

In addition to Facebook, Verizon, Verisign, and CrowdStrike, the SDF is backed by a variety of organizations, including , Enom, Name.com, CIRA(.ca), CO Internet(.co), the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), Emerging Threats, ESET Anti-Virus, DomainTools, Internet Identity, CoCCA, Mailshell, Blacknight Solutions, Foreground Security, and the SecDev Group.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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