On 9 September 2010, Afilias, a global provider of internet infrastructure services and the Registry for .INFO domain names (amongst others), announced that it had enabled Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) for the .INFO Top Level Domain (TLD). .INFO is the 27th TLD to deploy DNSSEC and Afilias has indicated that it aims to deploy DNSSEC across a further 13 TLDs that it supports in Asia, Latin America and Europe by the end of the year.
Further to the launch of .INFO in 2001 (the first generic, unrestricted TLD to be launched after .COM), its popularity has grown to the extent that it is now the fourth largest generic TLD in the world with over 6 million domain names registered. Due to .INFO's popularity, the risks of malicious attacks are obviously high, and thus DNSSEC technology will protect users to a greater extent against fraudulent activity.
The aim of DNSSEC technology is to secure any weak points within the Domain Name System (DNS) which would potentially be exploitable by pirates. DNSSEC works by digitally signing responses received from the DNS. It thus helps to ensure that internet users reach their intended destination and are not misdirected to, for example, look-alike websites used to fraudulently collect personal details such as account numbers and passwords (often referred to as "phishing").
The deployment of DNSSEC started in 2009 with the digital signing of the root zone file, as covered in the June 2009 issue of Anchovy News. This was finally completed on 16 July 2010. Progress has been slow, perhaps due to the technical implications of deploying DNSSEC and the reluctance of Registries and registrars to step into the unknown. However certain country code TLDs such as .SE (Sweden) and .BE (Belgium) have already deployed DNSSEC and some are currently in the process of doing so, such as .GR (Greece) and, most recently, .FR (France).