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More registrations of .si domain names in bad faith during Covid-19?

Political, economic and social conditions affect the users’ choice of domain names, how many they register and for what purposes.

Domain names reflect everyday life

During the elections, we see many domain names with party slogans, candidate names and calls to vote. In winter, registration of domain names associated with winter tires, skiing, and winter gear “grow in number”. Even high-profile events in the world of the tabloids do not go unanswered under .si.This is understandable, of course, as new business paths are being built, new opportunities are being sought, and an online presence with the right domain name is crucial.

There is also always a minority of those who register and use domain names for illegal and malicious purposes. We have already written how the Registry .si prevents such abuses.

“The Hunting” for Covid -19 domain names

The pandemic we have been facing this year has been a remarkable event of global proportions and has fundamentally shaken the social and economic foundations. Due to quarantine, communication and doing business online have become an everyday norm, which has further increased the risk of misuse of the DNS system. In fact, we expected the number of pandemic-related domain names, registered for fraud purposes to increase as well.

With the declaration of the pandemic, the key tasks of the Registry – ensuring the operation of the top DNS for .si and enabling the registration of domain names under .si – became even more important. At the same time, we decided to monitor the newly registered domain names very closely during this period and to pay attention to how this exceptional situation will be reflected in the choice of domain names. We also exchanged information on possible anomalies with other European registries, members of the CENTR organization.

During this time, domain names, related to the virus and goods that were in high demand at the time – especially disinfectants and masks – became interesting.

We checked all data of domain name holders, which were registered from January 1st to the end of May and whose domain names contained terms such as “pandemic”, “disinfectants”, “masks”, “covid”, “sars”, “epidemics” and the like. Because domain name holders with bad intentions like to hide their identities, they often provide false domain name registration information. Due to false information, the domain name can be deactivated to prevent fraudulent use.

More registered domain names? Yes. More malicious registrations? No!

Although the number of registered domain names under .si increased during quarantine, there were relatively few so-called “Covid-19 domain names” among them.

We are pleased to report that despite a detailed review, we did not find any irregularities and therefore did not deactivate any of the .si domain names that contained the mentioned terms in this time frame.

The experiences of other national and generic registries are similar. Despite fears that the pandemic would result in the registration of malicious domain names linked to Covid-19, it turned out that there were extremely few such cases, nothing more than in usual times.

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