New domain standards, new challenges, new potential problems

Yesterday, May 14 we saw the first new Cyrillic domains available on the Internet for public visiting. One of those domains is the official site of the President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev http://президент.рф

Prior to seeing the Cyrillic language domains, we have also seen the first domains in the Arabic language, which are also available for public for all Internet users to see. As an example, the domain: http://وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر

It’s good to see that some nations now have their own language domain names. However it brings up some new potential challenges and possibly some problems. All of the countries that are now getting their own language domains have up until now had all of their domains in Latin characters, those domains are easier to decipher for Internet users and users have learned how to distinguish a fake phishing domain from legitimate domains. Unfortunately, it’s just a question of time, as to when cyber criminals will start registering phishing domains using the same names; however they will be translated or transliterated into a native local language. It may confuse a lot to ordinary users, which may lead them to become the victim of a cyber crime.

Another problem that may arise is how you can differentiate between a legitimate or a phishing domain if it is in a local language? Imagine if you work in an anti-phishing lab and have to classify messages. That may be very difficult if they are in a local language. Analysts must not present any doubts when classifying a domain as a phishing domain, the mistake may mean that a legitimate domain pays the price.

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