Cogent Partner to Speak at “gTLD Collision” Workshop

With the impending authorization of nearly 2,000 new top level domains (gTLDs), many stakeholders believe there are significant risks of “domain collisions” occurring. Domain collisions are the result of a long-standing practice of network administrators setting up intranets (internal networks) using top level domains such as .CORP, .HOME and .HOST such that client software (browsers, email, custom software) that reaches to the DNS on the internet can be used to access internal resources and services.  The implications may be far reaching. Internal resources and services might become unavailable and sensitive requests will “leak” to the internet with the potential to be intercepted by malicious actors, the media and competitors.

In a recent joint letter, Microsoft, Verisign and Yahoo! urged ICANN to study the Collission Mitigation Plan before allowing any authorization of these gTLDs. They stated, “The undersigned companies and organizations submit this letter to express our significant concern regarding several unresolved stability and security issues associated with the upcoming delegation of new gTLDs,” they stated. “These issues must be addressed to preserve the stability, security and resiliency of the DNS. Allowing known risks to remain unresolved would be irresponsible and inconsistent with ICANN’s core mission.”

Unexpected name collisions caused by new gTLDs being delegated into the root could have devastating consequences. For example, if .corp is delegated into the zone as a new gTLD, it is possible that thousands or tens of thousands of enterprises could be impacted. However, the problem is not just with obvious widely-used strings like .corp; even strings that have small query volumes at the root may be problematic, such as those discussed in SAC045. These “outlier” strings with very low query rates may actually pose the most acute risks because they could support critical systems and services. Any such negative impacts may have serious consequences for those who rely on the DNS, and this should raise significant liability concerns.

On Tuesday, October 29, 2013, the Online Trust Alliance will host a series of workshops at a conference in Herndon, VA, titled, “gTLD Collisions – Risk Assessment.” Cogent Company’s Founder and Managing Partner, Marc Hoppers, will participate on the “Mitigation of Collisions on ISPs, Infrastructure Providers & Business” workshop session. “As a services firm that implements custom and packaged data and process software solutions, we are very concerned about the implications to our clients and their constituencies,” said Mr. Hoppers. “The changes gTLD will impose represents unknown risk to businesses of all sizes.”

Mr. Hoppers will not only be representing his perspectives as Managing Partner at Cogent Company, but he will also be representing the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners in his capacity of Advocacy Committee Chairperson. For more information or to register, you may follow the link to the Mitigation Workshop.

Links to Mr. Hoppers comments and discussion will be available on his blog after the event.