28 Abuse Prevention and Mitigation
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.HYATT||Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C.||fairwindspartners.com||View|
28.1 Abuse Prevention and Mitigation
Strong abuse prevention of a new gTLD is an important benefit to the Internet community. Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. (“Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C.”) and its back-end registry services provider, Neustar, Inc. (“Neustar”), agree that a registry must not only aim for the highest standards of technical and operational competence, but also needs to act as a steward of the space on behalf of the Internet community and ICANN in promoting the public interest. Neustar brings extensive experience establishing and implementing registration policies. This experience will be leveraged to help Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. combat abusive and malicious domain activity within the new gTLD space.
One of those public interest functions for a responsible domain name registry includes working towards the eradication of abusive domain name registrations, including, but not limited to, those resulting from:
-Illegal or fraudulent actions
-Distribution of malware
-Fast flux hosting
-Distribution of child pornography
-Online sale or distribution of illegal pharmaceuticals
More specifically, although traditionally botnets have used Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers to control registry and the compromised PCs, or bots, for DDoS attacks and the theft of personal information, an increasingly popular technique, known as fast-flux DNS, allows botnets to use a multitude of servers to hide a key host or to create a highly-available control network. This ability to shift the attacker’s infrastructure over a multitude of servers in various countries creates an obstacle for law enforcement and security researchers to mitigate the effects of these botnets. But a point of weakness in this scheme is its dependence on DNS for its translation services. By taking an active role in researching and monitoring these sorts of botnets, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C.’s registry provider, Neustar, has developed the ability to efficiently work with various law enforcement and security communities to begin a new phase of mitigation of these types of threats.
Policies and Procedures to Minimize Abusive Registrations
A registry must have the policies, resources, personnel, and expertise in place to combat such abusive DNS practices. As Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C.’s registry provider, Neustar is at the forefront of the prevention of such abusive practices and is one of the few registry operators to have actually developed and implemented an active “domain takedown” policy. We also believe that a strong program is essential given that registrants have a reasonable expectation that they are in control of the data associated with their domains, especially its presence in the DNS zone. Because domain names are sometimes used as a mechanism to enable various illegitimate activities on the Internet, often the best preventative measure to thwart these attacks is to remove the names completely from the DNS before they can impart harm, not only to the domain name registrant, but also to millions of unsuspecting Internet users.
Removing the domain name from the zone has the effect of shutting down all activity associated with the domain name, including the use of all websites and e-mail. The use of this technique should not be entered into lightly. Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. has an extensive, defined, and documented process for taking the necessary action of removing a domain from the zone when its presence in the zone poses a threat to the security and stability of the infrastructure of the Internet or the registry.
Abuse Point of Contact
As required by the Registry Agreement, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. will establish and publish on its website a single abuse point of contact responsible for addressing inquiries from law enforcement and the public related to malicious and abusive conduct. Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. will also provide such information to ICANN prior to the delegation of any domain names in the TLD. This information shall consist of, at a minimum, a valid e-mail address dedicated solely to the handling of malicious conduct complaints, and a telephone number and mailing address for the primary contact. We will ensure that this information will be kept accurate and up-to-date and will be provided to ICANN if and when changes are made. In addition, with respect to inquiries from ICANN-Accredited registrars, our registry services provider, Neustar, shall have an additional point of contact, as it does today, handling requests by registrars related to abusive domain name practices.
28.2 Policies Regarding Abuse Complaints
One of the key policies each new gTLD registry will need to have is an Acceptable Use Policy that clearly delineates the types of activities that constitute “abuse” and the repercussions associated with an abusive domain name registration. In addition, the policy will be incorporated into the applicable Registry-Registrar Agreement and reserve the right for the registry to take the appropriate actions based on the type of abuse. This will include locking down the domain name, preventing any changes to the contact and nameserver information associated with the domain name, placing the domain name “on hold,” rendering the domain name non-resolvable, transferring to the domain name to another registrar, and⁄or in cases in which the domain name is associated with an existing law enforcement investigation, substituting name servers to collect information about the DNS queries to assist the investigation.
Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. will adopt an Acceptable Use Policy that clearly defines the types of activities that will not be permitted in the TLD and reserves the right of the Applicant to lock, cancel, transfer, or otherwise suspend or take down domain names violating the Acceptable Use Policy and allow the registry where and when appropriate to share information with law enforcement. Each ICANN-Accredited Registrar must agree to pass through the Acceptable Use Policy to its Resellers (if applicable) and ultimately to the TLD registrants. Below is the registry’s initial Acceptable Use Policy that we will use in connection with the .HYATT TLD.
.HYATT Acceptable Use Policy
This Acceptable Use Policy gives the registry the ability to quickly lock, cancel, transfer, or take ownership of any .HYATT domain name, either temporarily or permanently, if the domain name is being used in a manner that appears to threaten the stability, integrity, or security of the registry, or any of its registrar partners – and⁄or that may put the safety and security of any registrant or user at risk. The process also allows the registry to take preventive measures to avoid any such criminal or security threats.
The Acceptable Use Policy may be triggered through a variety of channels, including, among other things, private complaint, public alert, government or enforcement agency outreach, and the ongoing monitoring by the registry or its partners. In all cases, the registry or its designees will alert registry’s registrar partners about any identified threats, and will work closely with them to bring offending sites into compliance.
The following are some (but not all) activities that may be subject to rapid domain compliance:
-Phishing: the attempt to acquire personally identifiable information by masquerading as a website other than .HYATT’s own.
-Pharming: the redirection of Internet users to websites other than those the user intends to visit, usually through unauthorized changes to the Hosts file on a victim’s computer or DNS records in DNS servers.
-Dissemination of Malware: the intentional creation and distribution of ʺmaliciousʺ software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner’s consent, including, without limitation, computer viruses, worms, key loggers, and Trojans.
-Fast Flux Hosting: a technique used to shelter Phishing, Pharming, and Malware sites and networks from detection and to frustrate methods employed to defend against such practices, whereby the IP address associated with fraudulent websites are changed rapidly so as to make the true location of the sites difficult to find.
-Botnetting: the development and use of a command, agent, motor, service, or software which is implemented: (1) to remotely control the computer or computer system of an Internet user without their knowledge or consent, (2) to generate direct denial of service (DDOS) attacks.
-Malicious Hacking: the attempt to gain unauthorized access (or exceed the level of authorized access) to a computer, information system, user account or profile, database, or security system.
-Child Pornography: the storage, publication, display, and⁄or dissemination of pornographic materials depicting individuals under the age of majority in the relevant jurisdiction.
The registry reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any administrative and operational actions necessary, including the use of computer forensics and information security technological services, among other things, in order to implement the Acceptable Use Policy. In addition, the registry reserves the right to deny, cancel, or transfer any registration or transaction, or place any domain name(s) on registry lock, hold, or similar status, that it deems necessary, in its discretion; (1) to protect the integrity and stability of the registry; (2) to comply with any applicable laws, government rules or requirements, requests of law enforcement, or any dispute resolution process; (3) to avoid any liability, civil or criminal, on the part of the registry as well as its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, and employees; (4) per the terms of the registration agreement or (5) to correct mistakes made by the registry or any registrar in connection with a domain name registration. The registry also reserves the right to place upon registry lock, hold, or similar status a domain name during resolution of a dispute.
Taking Action Against Abusive and⁄or Malicious Activity
The registry is committed to ensuring that those domain names associated with abuse or malicious conduct in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy are dealt with in a timely and decisive manner. These include taking action against those domain names that are being used to threaten the stability and security of the TLD, or are part of a real-time investigation by law enforcement.
Once a complaint is received from a trusted source, third party, or detected by the registry, the registry will use commercially reasonable efforts to verify the information in the complaint. If that information can be verified to the best of the ability of the registry, the sponsoring registrar will be notified and be given 12 hours to investigate the activity and either take down the domain name by placing the domain name on hold or by deleting the domain name in its entirety, or providing a compelling argument to the registry to keep the name in the zone. If the registrar has not taken the requested action after the 12-hour period (i.e., is unresponsive to the request or refuses to take action), the registry will place the domain on “ServerHold.” Although this action removes the domain name from the TLD zone, the domain name record still appears in the TLD WHOIS database so that the name and entities can be investigated by law enforcement should they desire to get involved.
Coordination with Law Enforcement
With the assistance of Neustar as its back-end registry services provider, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. can meet its obligations under Section 2.8 of the Registry Agreement where required to take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to reports from law enforcement and governmental and quasi-governmental agencies of illegal conduct in connection with the use of its TLD. The registry will respond to legitimate law enforcement inquiries within one business day from receiving the request. Such response shall include, at a minimum, an acknowledgement of receipt of the request, questions or comments concerning the request, and an outline of the next steps to be taken by Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. for rapid resolution of the request.
In the event such request involves any of the activities which can be validated by the registry and involves the type of activity set forth in the Acceptable Use Policy, the sponsoring registrar is then given 12 hours to investigate the activity further and either take down the domain name by placing the domain name on hold or by deleting the domain name in its entirety, or providing a compelling argument to the registry to keep the name in the zone. If the registrar has not taken the requested action after the 12-hour period (i.e., is unresponsive to the request or refuses to take action), the registry will place the domain on “serverHold.”
28.2 Measures for Removal of Orphan Glue Records
As the Security and Stability Advisory Committee of ICANN (SSAC) rightly acknowledges, although orphaned glue records may be used for abusive or malicious purposes, the “dominant use of orphaned glue supports the correct and ordinary operation of the DNS.” See http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄en⁄committees⁄security⁄sac048.pdf.
While orphan glue often support correct and ordinary operation of the DNS, we understand that such glue records can be used maliciously to point to name servers that host domains used in illegal phishing, botnets, malware, and other abusive behaviors. Problems occur when the parent domain of the glue record is deleted but its children glue records still remain in DNS. Therefore, when the registry has written evidence of actual abuse of orphaned glue, the registry will take action to remove those records from the zone to mitigate such malicious conduct.
Neustar runs a daily audit of entries in its DNS systems and compares those with its provisioning system. This serves as an umbrella protection to make sure that items in the DNS zone are valid. Any DNS record that shows up in the DNS zone but not in the provisioning system will be flagged for investigation and removed if necessary. This daily DNS audit serves to not only prevent orphaned hosts but also other records that should not be in the zone.
In addition, if either Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. or Neustar becomes aware of actual abuse on orphaned glue after receiving written notification by a third party through its Abuse Contact or through its customer support, such glue records will be removed from the zone.
28.3 Measures to Promote WHOIS Accuracy
Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. acknowledges that ICANN has developed a number of mechanisms over the past decade that are intended to address the issue of inaccurate WHOIS information.
However, the proposed use of the .HYATT as a .BRAND gTLD in which all domain names will initially be registered by Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C., to its parent, Hyatt Corporation (“Hyatt”), or qualified subsidiaries and affiliates, essentially eliminates the potential of false or inaccurate WHOIS data. Further ensuring that all domain names contain uniform, accurate, and up-to-date WHOIS information is the fact that these domain names will be registered through Hyatt’s existing registrars, or a similarly situated corporate registrar, which handles Hyatt’s existing domain name portfolio.
Should Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. expand the universe of potential registrants in the .HYATT namespace, to include third parties such as licensees or strategic partners, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. intends to offer the following enhanced mechanism to ensure the accuracy of WHOIS data, specifically, a mechanism whereby third parties can submit complaints directly to Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. (as opposed to ICANN or the sponsoring registrar) about inaccurate or incomplete WHOIS data. Such information shall be forwarded to the sponsoring registrar, who shall be required to address those complaints with their registrants. Thirty days after forwarding the complaint to the registrar, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. will examine the current WHOIS data for names that were alleged to be inaccurate to determine if the information was corrected, the domain name was deleted, or there was some other disposition. If the registrar has failed to take any action, or it is clear that the registrant was either unwilling or unable to correct the inaccuracies, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. reserves the right to suspend the applicable domain name(s) until such time as the registrant is able to cure the deficiencies.
In addition, should Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. expand the universe of potential registrants within the .HYATT namespace to include third parties such as licensees or strategic partners, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. shall on its own initiative, no less than twice per year, perform a manual review of a random sampling of .HYATT domain names to test the accuracy of the WHOIS information. Although this will not include verifying the actual information in the WHOIS record, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. will be examining the WHOIS data for prima facie evidence of inaccuracies. In the event that such evidence exists, it shall be forwarded to the sponsoring registrar, who shall be required to address those complaints with its registrants. Thirty days after forwarding the complaint to the registrar, the Applicant will examine the current WHOIS data for names that were alleged to be inaccurate to determine if the information was corrected, the domain name was deleted, or there was some other disposition. If the registrar has failed to take any action, or it is clear that the registrant was either unwilling or unable to correct the inaccuracies, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. reserves the right to suspend the applicable domain name(s) until such time as the registrant is able to cure the deficiencies.
28.3.1 Authentication of Registrant Information
As noted above, the proposed use of the .HYATT as a .BRAND gTLD in which all domain names will initially be registered by Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. to Hyatt, or potentially its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates, essentially eliminates the potential of false or inaccurate WHOIS data. Additionally, all domain names will be registered through Hyatt or Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C.’s corporate registrar, or a similar corporate registrar, which employs enhanced security protocols that limit which employees can register domain names, as well as ensure that those domain names that are registered contain uniform, accurate, and up-to-date WHOIS information.
Should Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. expand the universe of potential registrants within the .HYATT namespace to include third parties such as licensees or strategic partners, such domain names would not be permitted to be registered until Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. had a process in place to verify the identity of the registrant and the accuracy of the WHOIS data.
28.3.2 Monitoring of Registration Data
As noted above Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. will provide a mechanism by which third parties can submit a WHOIS accuracy complaint directly to the Registry Operator for timely investigation and resolution. In addition, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. has committed to perform a manual review of a random sampling of .HYATT domain names no less than twice per year to test the accuracy of the WHOIS information after the expanding the potential universe of domain names to include third parties such as licensees or strategic partners.
28.3.3 Policies and Procedures Ensuring Compliance
These proposed enhanced safeguards designed to promote the accuracy of WHOIS data will be hard coded into the Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA) as well as the end-registrant agreement.
28.4 Resourcing Plans
Responsibility for abuse mitigation rests with a variety of functional groups. The Abuse Monitoring team is primarily responsible for providing analysis and conducting investigations of reports of abuse. The customer service team also plays an important role in assisting with the investigations, responded to customers, and notifying registrars of abusive domains. Finally, the Policy⁄Legal team is responsible for developing the relevant policies and procedures.
The necessary resources will be pulled from the pool of available resources described in detail in the response to Question 31. The following resources are available from those teams:
-Customer Support – 12 employees
-Policy⁄Legal – 2 employees
In addition to the above staffing provided by Neustar, Hyatt GTLD, L.L.C. will provide the full support of its internal staff (total 0.5 FTE count) as well as its external vendors where the situation requires the extra staffing resources.
The resources are more than adequate to support the abuse mitigation procedures of the .HYATT registry.
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