The IE Domain Registry have this weekend launched new policies that change the expiry, suspension and deletion dates of domain names. The old MSD (mail, suspend, delete) system has been replaced by the NRP (non-renewal process) system. Any .ie domain registrants or resellers should be aware of the changes.
The old MSD system
The old MSD (mail, suspend, delete) system ran every two weeks. For example, if a domain name expiring in September was not renewed, the domain owner would be mailed on the first Friday in November, suspended two weeks later and finally deleted two weeks after that. The IE Domain Registry gave domain registrants a considerable grace period to renew their domain name. All the different deadlines made it very difficult to work out when a domain name suspension and deletion would actually happen.
The new NRP system
The new NRP (non renewal process) system brings .ie domain names into line with other domain extensions like .com. This should remove the confusion and make it easier for registrars/registrants to manage .ie domain registrations. The new policy is straight-forward. Domain names are deleted 70 days after their expiry date. If a domain name renewal isn’t paid on time, the IE Domain Registry will email the registrant after 1 day, suspend the domain name after 40 days and delete the domain name after 70 days. The domain name can be renewed at any time during the 70 days, but any website/email services associated with the domain name will stop working when the domain name is suspended, and someone else may re-register the domain name when it is deleted. It’s important to renew your domain name on time. Don’t risk losing your domain name!
We recommend renewing your domain names early and using an auto-renew option if available with your domain registrar. Don’t risk losing your domain name!
DomainRegistrar.ie has today warned customers of a domain registration scam.
Internet Register Ireland has been sending letters to many of our customers and even sending letters directly to us. The company is registered in Germany, although have PO Boxes in Ireland, the UK and France. The letters request payment of €2874 over 3 years (€958 a year) for website registration services. This is a scam. Customers are advised to disregard the letter and do not respond. Please contact us if you are not sure about any email, fax or letter you receive and we can advise you further.
In September 2008 the IE Domain Registry (the official .ie registry) issued this press release:
It has once again come to the attention of the IEDR that a company operating under the name “Internet Register Ireland” is contacting businesses with registered .ie domain names by post and by fax, soliciting domain holders to register their domain name with the “Internet Register Ireland“. The “Internet Register Ireland” will request you to fill out their form and return it to them signed. It should be noted that they charge an excessive fee of approx €958 for the registration of your domain name in their database. The “Internet Register Ireland” previously operated the same practice in Ireland in September 2007 and November 2006 and have been operating similar schemes throughout Europe and Canada throughout the past year.
We would like to reassure all of our customers that no such organisation has been authorised to act on behalf of the IEDR. If you are contacted in this manner we would recommend that you disregard this letter and advise anyone you know who owns a domain name of this activity.
If you require Internet services for your domain name we would advise you to contact an official IE Registrar.
The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) have concluded an investigation into the security incident on Tuesday 9th October that resulted in visitors to Google.ie and Yahoo.ie being sent to an Indonesian webserver controlled by hackers.
At 12pm today, the IEDR released a statement confirming that the security incident occurred because the Joomla content management system installed on the IEDR website had been exploited. The statement explains that during a period of 25 days (starting on 11th September), “the public-facing web server of the IEDR was subjected to repeated attempts at unauthorised access from external sources”. The attempts to hack the IEDR web server were eventually successfully on Saturday 6th October when the hacker was able to exploit a Joomla plugin and upload malicious PHP web scripts. The IEDR statement said: “PHP scripts were then used to access a backend database and this database access subsequently provided access to the IEDR control panel and permitted unauthorised modifications to an account.”
That account belonged to the registrar MarkMonitor who provide domain registration services to large corporations. On Tuesday 9th September, a full four weeks after the initial signs of a hacking attempt, the MarkMonitor account was accessed and the the domain names Google.ie and Yahoo.ie were re-configured to use two malicious DNS nameservers located in Indonesia. The DNS nameservers are used by well-known hacking websites, and since they are controlled by a hacker, it’s possible that visitors to Google.ie and Yahoo.ie may have been brought to a fake website, purporting to be the real Google or Yahoo website. The fake website could potentially have gathered user information or prompted users to download malware or viruses. Peter Armstrong from Irish webhosting provider Spiral Hosting explained, “Luckily there haven’t been any reports of any malware or viruses coming from the two websites. The sites were timing out and we suspect the hacker’s webservers were overwhelmed; they couldn’t cope with the volume of traffic Google and Yahoo would normally receive. Luckily, the IEDR were quick to restore the correct DNS nameservers on both the domain name and minimise the disruption caused. Luckily, other websites like Microsoft.ie which is also managed by MarkMonitor were not affected. It’s all very lucky. It is a security disaster but it could have been much worse. If website visitors had have been infected with malware, Google, Yahoo, MarkMonitor and the IEDR could have been dealing with a security catastrophe.”
The IEDR have confirmed that a criminal investigation by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation is continuing, and they point out that a recently appointed Technical Services Manager will place increased emphasis on security policies, processes and procedures at the IE Domain Registry.
The IEDR’s Joomla website, which was taken offline on 9th October, was replaced on 26th October with a new website built using the Drupal content management system. The new website has received criticism for its bland design and lack of a WHOIS lookup facility, however the IEDR have insisted they have “prioritised the restoration of secure services” and they will address issues with the new website design over the coming weeks.
The IE Domain Registry have requested assistance from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation after two of Ireland’s most popular websites were taken offline for several hours on Monday afternoon. In a statement, the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) confirmed, “There was a security incident on Tuesday 9th October, involving two high profile .ie domains“.
The two domain names are Google.ie and Yahoo.ie, which are managed by the registrar MarkMonitor. In an email sent to all registrars, David Curtin, IEDR Chief Executive said, “There was an unauthorised access to one Registrar’s account which resulted in the change to the DNS nameserver records for the two .ie domains. The IEDR worked with the Registrar to ensure that the nameserver records were reset and corrected promptly.”
Serious questions are being raised about how this breach occurred. Security experts have suggested that the login details for the IEDR registrar’s console may have been ‘socially engineered’, for example if a hacker pretended to represent MarkMonitor and manipulated the IEDR into providing login details to the Registrar console website (where DNS nameservers are configured).
There is also serious concern regarding the specific DNS nameservers that were configured by the hacker. Both of the DNS nameservers are located in Indonesia. The DNS nameservers are used by well-known hacking websites, and since they are controlled by a hacker, it’s possible that visitors to Google.ie and Yahoo.ie may have been brought to a fake website, purporting to be the real Google or Yahoo website. The fake website could potentially have gathered user information or prompted users to download malware or viruses. Peter Armstrong from Irish webhosting provider Spiral Hosting said, “Luckily there haven’t been any reports of any malware or viruses coming from the two websites. The sites were timing out and we suspect the hacker’s webservers were overwhelmed; they couldn’t cope with the volume of traffic Google and Yahoo would normally receive. Luckily, the IEDR were quick to restore the correct DNS nameservers on both the domain name and minimise the disruption caused. Luckily, other websites like Microsoft.ie which is also managed by MarkMonitor were not affected. It’s all very lucky. It is a security disaster but it could have been much worse. If website visitors had have been infected with malware, Google, Yahoo, MarkMonitor and the IEDR could have been dealing with a security catastrophe.”
At this point MarkMonitor have not made any comment and the IEDR are either uncertain about what happened, or they’re contemplating a possible security breach. However, there is no doubt that the IEDR are taking the issue seriously. They have brought in an external security company to investigate the incident, they have requested assistance from the Garda BFI and at 10pm on Monday, “based on the results of the investigation and the recommendation of security experts“, the IEDR took most of their systems offline “in order to perform additional analysis”, and we suspect taking the systems offline will also prevent further unauthorised access from taking place over-night.
This Friday 22 July the IE Domain Registry will be moving to new offices. If you are an .ie domain reseller and you provide letter templates to your customers with the IEDR address at the top, you should update the templates to include the new address:
IE Domain Registry Limited
You may be interested to know that the new offices are less than a mile from the old offices, and the IEDR say they have negotiated a 43% reduction in the rent per square foot for the new offices.
The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the managed registry for Ireland’s official internet address .ie, today published its 2010 Annual Report. 2010 saw the IEDR celebrate its 10th anniversary, the .ie namespace expand by a net 12.9%, and in November 2010 a customer registered the 150,000th .ie domain name through registrar Spiral Hosting.
New registrations of 36,587 .ie domains in 2010 were offset by 19,071 non-renewals or deletions. The net additions in the year led to the .ie namespace growing by a net 12.9% to 153,419. The IEDR believes growth in domain registrations were generated almost totally by the efforts of IEDR’s Registrar community and reflects a maturing Internet ecosystem. Domain names per capita in Ireland (33 domains per 1,000 people) are now comparable to those of France and Italy (29 and 35 per 1,000 people respectively), with countries like the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark leading the way in Europe (250, 200 and 199 domains per 1,000 people respectively).
The .ie non-renewal rate is very low by international standards, and reflects the shortening domain life cycle, as domain names are increasingly used for promotional events and information programmes on .ie websites. The ongoing economic recession is also a factor, although there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that part of the growth is due to new online businesses established by those made redundant.
The IE Domain Registry will add a 5th rebuild time to .ie domain names from Monday 7 February 2011.
At present the .ie zone is rebuilt four times everyday at: 10am, 12pm, 5pm and 10pm.
The new rebuild times are: 10am, 12pm, 3pm, 5pm and 10pm. This effectively means that if you register an .ie domain name between 12 midday and 2.40pm then the domain will go live at the new rebuild time of 3pm instead of 5pm.
The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the managed registry for Ireland’s official internet address .ie, today published its inaugural Domain Name Industry report, marking the Registry’s 10th anniversary. The report provides the first account of its kind in Ireland of the .ie namespace and the Irish domain market. It is set in the context of the global domain name market and Ireland’s Internet ecosystem, and will be published annually as a resource for Internet industry leaders and policy makers.
The key finding from the report is that Irish SMEs remain slow to realise the revenue potential of the Internet. Irish SMEs need to make greater use of Internet technologies to build fully featured e-commerce websites in order to achieve greater competitive advantage online. Only 66% of Irish businesses had any kind of website in 2009, compared with 40% in 2000. Of those 66%, only 21% had e-commerce functionality on their site, a level that has grown by a marginal 3% since 2000.
While slow broadband speeds and a lack of financial support have been identified as inhibitors to SME growth online, the report urges small firms to take action, upgrade their websites and tap into the 24 hour sales channel that is the Internet. To highlight the issue, IEDR has announced it will provide a €100,000 e-commerce fund for ten Irish SMEs to develop or upgrade their web presence, details of which will be announced early next year.
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of www.DomainRegistrar.ie, a new site from Spiral Hosting dedicated to the promotion of .ie domain names. The site provides assistance with .ie registration, as well as news and promotions.
Peter Armstrong, Director of Spiral Hosting said: “DomainRegistrar.ie is our new website dedicated to helping Irish people register .ie domains. We’ve seen sales of .ie domain names increase dramatically in the past year as registrants choose us due to our fast turn-around times and friendly, helpful support during the registration process. We were delighted to be the registrar of choice for the 150,000th .ie domain name earlier this month. It marked an important milestone for the Irish domain namespace. We’re proud to be part of the .ie community as it continues to grow.”