Domain Trust and 2024: The Year of Domain Abuse Mitigation

Domain abuse – the misuse of domain names for nefarious purposes, including illegal, fraudulent, or malicious activities – continues to thrive, according to DNSAI Compass Aggregate Trends analysis. But recent efforts will likely make it harder for criminals to use domain abuse to propagate their activities. This year will be the first year we see global, collective efforts implemented to combat domain abuse.

The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) established Domain Trust over two years ago to bring awareness to the problem of domain abuse and to assist in not only mitigating but eventually preventing such abuse. Initially a simple data platform, Domain Trust has evolved to become a community of infrastructure owners and operators that shares data on criminally malicious domains and best practices for both the mitigation and prevention of domain abuse.

This GCA effort was timely in that it paralleled other efforts sharing the same goal. In 2023, ICANN launched its efforts with contracted parties (namely registrars, registries, and gTLDs) to require improved mitigation of domain abuse, and the European Union adopted the updated Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive (NIS2) legislation that further requires member states to improve their efforts in combating domain abuse. Both of these major efforts require implementation this year, in 2024.

While preventing registration of domains for abusive purposes is the ultimate goal of Domain Trust, the Domain Trust Community is making strong strides in helping our partners mitigate domain abuse by improving the quality of data that we share and identifying and curating best practices in the fight against domain abuse.

In early 2024, the Domain Trust Data Platform surpassed 20 million malicious domains collected and shared by our Domain Trust Community. It also seeks to begin collecting evidentiary metadata associated with these domains, which would allow our partners to take specific actions protecting against further abuse of these domains. Also this year, the Domain Trust Community will compile and publish its first edition of best practices for mitigating and preventing domain abuse, curated by the members of our community with sector-specific commentary on ways these best practices can be implemented. 

Further, we are excited to grow our relationships with partners such as the NetBeacon Institute and eco’s topDNS initiative to improve global awareness and adoption of growing efforts in domain abuse mitigation and prevention. Community is key to the success of these efforts, and Domain Trust exists to improve situational awareness of all efforts in combating domain abuse.


Get Involved

In March of this year, at our ninth quarterly Domain Trust Community Meeting (DTCM9), we announced these specific 2024 deliverables and are actively recruiting additional partners to help us achieve success in these community-wide goals. Our partners include registrars, registries, hosting providers, CERTS/CSIRTs, and a multitude of other parties who share common goals in reducing the number and impact of domains registered or hijacked for abusive purposes.

Our next quarterly community meeting (DTCM10), will be held on Tuesday, June 18, at 12:00PM UTC and also again at 9:00PM UTC (to better accommodate global partners in multiple time zones). 

While our Domain Trust Community Meetings are held quarterly, our Domain Trust Community Working Groups meet monthly and are industry-led efforts to promote the sharing of actionable data and best practices for mitigating and preventing domain abuse. The deliverables of these working groups are only as good as the efforts of the organizations participating in them, and we welcome anyone who can contribute to our collaborative and collective efforts.

If your organization also wants to play a role in reducing global domain abuse, please join us! Simply contact us here, select “Domain Trust” as your reason for contacting us, and we will be happy to provide information about how your organization can become a full member of the Domain Trust Community. We very much look forward to working with you to help combat domain abuse and to make the Internet a safe place for all.