Thursday , August 11 2022

ICANN: DNS abuse is going…down?

ICANN’s analysis suggests that DNS abuse might not be spiraling out of control after all.

Chart showing DNS abuse trending down over time

A chart from ICANN’s report shows total security-threat domains over time across multiple blocklists.

ICANN published a report today summarizing DNS abuse in recent years. Given all of the focus on DNS abuse recently (including multiple new organizations created to tackle it), the report draws a surprising conclusion: DNS abuse appears to be going down.

CEO Göran Marby previewed this data at the recent ICANN meeting when he showed one of the charts, and Internet Commerce Association General Counsel Zak Muscovitch and I discuss it on next week’s podcast.

ICANN’s report points out that many snapshots of DNS abuse are just that: snapshots. When you take a longer-term look at recorded DNS abuse based on blocklists, the numbers are heading down. This includes both the raw number of domains and normalized data based on the number of registered domains.

A significant part of the drop is due to Spamhaus reporting fewer spam domains.

Of course, you can slice and dice the data any way you’d like to show what you want. Restrict the time period or limit your data providers. Or use a different definition of DNS abuse.

At the same time, I wonder if the mantra for tackling DNS abuse should be “It’s bad, but getting better.”

Post link: ICANN: DNS abuse is going…down?

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About Andrew Allemann

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