New from Verisign Labs: What’s in your attack surface?

Blog Moderator | Dec 15, 2014
Recently, Verisign Labs researcher Eric Osterweil and Verisign CSO Danny McPherson, along with Lixia Zhang, a professor of computer science at UCLA, received the Best Paper Award at this year’s IEEE Workshop on Secure Network Protocols (NPSec ‘14) for their paper, “The Shape and Size of Threats: Defining a Networked System's Attack Surface.” Below is a guest post from one of the authors, Eric Osterweil, principal researcher for Verisign Labs, describing the genesis of the research and future plans.

The concept of “attack surface” has been batted around in the security community for a long time. At a high-level, we all get the gist of it: the more exposed a system is to attackers (attack surface) the more risk it is probably exposing to those who depend on it, but what does that mean? Recently, my colleagues Danny McPherson, Lixia Zhang and I decided that it would be useful to have a definition and a technique that would let people illustrate and quantify systems’ attack surfaces. Specifically, we asked the questions: how do we measure attack surfaces, how do we clearly understand the exposure of our systems’ attack surfaces, and to understand these things where should we start?

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Domain Registrations: Is Bitcoin Going Mainstream?

Blog Moderator | Dec 03, 2014

Earlier this year we used Bitcoin as an example of how domain registrations could be an effective gauge of interest in a particular subject. Our analysis demonstrated a clear rise in the number of registered .com and .net domain names containing the term “Bitcoin” in 2013, as well as a positive correlation between increased registration activity and increases in the dollar value of bitcoin.

In this post, we decided to take a look at the history of Bitcoin-related domain registration activity since 2009 to see if we noticed any other trends.

The Bitcoin phenomenon essentially began on Oct 31, 2008 with the publication of the now well-known “Bitcoin White Paper.” In the next year, only four domain names containing the term “Bitcoin” were registered, and only 295 domains containing ‘Bitcoin’ were registered in the following year, 2010.

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Internet Grows to 280 Million Domain Names in the Second Quarter of 2014

Blog Moderator | Dec 02, 2014

Today, we released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which showed that the Internet grew by four million domain names in the second quarter of 2014. The total number of domain names across all top-level domains (TLDs) is now 280 million. This is a 1.4 percent increase over the first quarter of 2014. [1]

.com and .net Breakdown

New .com and .net registrations totaled 8.5 million, bringing the combined number of .com and .net TLDs to 128.9 million domain names in the adjusted zone by the end of the second quarter of 2014.
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Taking the First Steps Online: It All Starts With a Name

Blog Moderator | Nov 26, 2014

Guest Post from Richard Stevenson, 1&1 Internet

For many small businesses and start-ups, the first steps to creating an online presence can be a daunting prospect. With so much information out there, knowing exactly what is best for your business can be a challenge. Richard Stevenson of 1&1 Internet, Europe’s largest domain name registrar, outlines the first steps for business owners interested in getting online.

From choosing a hosting provider to creating a website, we know that creating a digital shop front can seem like it demands many steps with important decisions every step of the way, and that this can at first appear overwhelming.

In truth it’s a great deal easier than many assume, but in order to make the process easier, why not focus on just the first step? Once you have that first incredible idea for a company or product, what follows is picking a name that will help you stand out. The digital world is no different, so begin by imagining what your website name would be.

Next, consider which platform is right for your business. Are you looking to share information about a shop or your business? Are you looking to sell online? Would a website or online shop benefit your business?  There are many options available when it comes to representing your business online; it’s about choosing what’s right for you.   
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Why the Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick Maker are Now Online

Blog Moderator | Nov 21, 2014
Guest Post from Emma Jones, founder of UK-based Enterprise Nation

Traditional independent businesses that don’t regard themselves as having relevance in the digital world are finding growth by getting online.

In the UK, an astonishing 50% of small firms are still not online.  Enterprise Nation’s Go and Grow Online campaign, supported by Verisign, Microsoft and BT Business, has launched a 12-month programme of nationwide events to help the smallest firms get the skills and confidence to get their digital ducks in a row. Of course, small businesses can survive without a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account – but how much could they grow if they took the plunge into cyberspace?  

We’ve taken a look at three very British trades made famous by an ancient nursery rhyme – “Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub” – that are increasing their trade and geographical reach simply via getting online, in addition to the traditional presence at a market stall or retail shop. And who do you think they are? A butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker… 
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