Experts and companies in the information security industry formed the Secure Domain Foundation (SDF), a non-profit, community-driven organization devoted to the identification and prevention of Internet cyber crime utilizing the DNS.
Launched at ICANN’s 49th Public Meeting, the SDF is backed by some of the industry’s leading information security companies and organizations including: Facebook, Verizon, Verisign, Enom, Name.com, CIRA(.ca), CO Internet(.co), CrowdStrike, APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group), Emerging Threats, ESET Anti-Virus, DomainTools, Internet Identity, CoCCA, Mailshell, Blacknight Solutions, Foreground Security, and the SecDev Group.
Founded by security researcher Chris Davis responsible for identification of the Mariposa botnet, domain industry expert and one of seven keyholders of the secure root zone Norm Ritchie, and a venerable who’s who of volunteers and advisors from across the security and domain industries, the SDF was formed to help prevent criminal abuse in the domain industry.
The SDF will provide no-cost tools, technology, research, and security intelligence to an initial market segment of Internet domain name registrars, registries, ccTLD operators, and gTLD operators. In the coming months, the SDF plans to expand services to hosting providers, DNS operators, CERTS, law enforcement and other Internet infrastructure operators.
Criminals have long used domain names to control botnets, distribute malware, and compromise unsuspecting visitors. The SDF’s API product allows its users to obtain an instant “credit score” based on security reputation and contact data validation. This is especially helpful during domain name transactions such as new account creation, domain registration, and record updates.
“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,” said Norm Ritchie, Chairman of the SDF. “Many new gTLD registries have 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 cyber crime.”
“Rightside has been an early supporter of the SDF and its mission. Over the past two years, the SDF has been quietly and skillfully compiling an extensive database about malicious domains and actors. It has been a excellent resource for us. We are very proud and excited to be a partner of the Secure Domain Foundation and we look forward to incorporating the contact data validation services into our domain registration processes,” said Wayne MacLaurin, CTO of Demand Media companies Enom, Name.com and Rightside Registry.
“Beyond our current offering of tools and services, we are also dedicated to raising the cost and risk of cyber crime,” said Chris Davis, President of the SDF. “With our partners, we analyze hundreds of thousands of malware samples daily and actively engage with registries, registrars and hosting providers to shut down the criminal command and control infrastructure. Our staff and volunteer researchers and analysts work tirelessly to provide criminal attribution intelligence to the proper global law enforcement organizations and help to bring these criminals to justice.”