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ICANN Suggests Introduction of Banking Domain to Reduce Phishing Impact

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization, which caters to coordinating global identifiers of the Internet system should initiate a .safe domain for the purpose of registered banks and other financial institutions, suggests F-Secure.

A domain name using .safe or .sure will assure consumers that they are working on a site of a legitimate financial organization while simplifying the identification of fraudulent sites. If ICANN inserted a. safe domain (or .sure or .bank) for only registered financial institutions to use, then it would help security providers to develop improved software to safeguard Internet users, , according to F-Secure.

The idea was there since sometime, however, the enormous increase in phishing attacks in the past few months has added on greater interest. According to statistics from UK's payments association, the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) released in early March, U.K. alone suffered 33.5m pounds in Internet banking deception loss in 2006 compared to 23.2m pounds in 2005. This 44% increase over 2005-2006 was largely due to phishing incidents whose number climbed up to 14,156 in 2006 from 1,713 in 2005.

APACS said, in U.K. 17 million people currently banked online and there would be more joining in during the forthcoming few years. Other countries also have a similar scenario. Unfortunately, with rise in Internet bankers, the number of fraud cases too escalates.

Although a domain name with .safe won't stop phishing attacks but it will enable security providers and banks to protect their customers, said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure in a company press release. Kauppalethi published the press release on March 29, 2007. While customers use a secure domain name like .safe it will provide them assurance when doing online transactions with banks.

Of course banks will have to pay premium to use such domain names but it will cut the success level of phishing sites, Hypponen continued to say.

A .safe domain would be available to only financial institutions and this would be at par with .gov domain - the exclusive domain for government organizations. Experiences suggest this approach will provide greater control on Internet banking.

Related article: ICANN Requested to Suspend Chinese Domain Name Registrar

» SPAMfighter News - 04-04-2007

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