Current News

  • MMX: Release of 17,000 domains

    MMX released 17,000 domains. Approximately 1,700 are .vip pinyin domains which are being released for the first time. A further 15,300 domains are being reintroduced having originally been in the channel but then posted in the secondary market last year.

    2016-10-19 | Julia Zang
  • .bar & .rest premium name release

    CentralNIC released thousands of previously unavailable generics, geographics, numerics and industry-specific keywords, such as,,, and Furthermore, another 10,000 previously-reserved names are now avaiable to the general market at standard pricing.

    2016-10-19 | Julia Zang
  • .rich: release of 200 sunrise domains

    The .rich registry has released a list of 200 formerly restricted sunrise domains. They can now be registered through general registration

    2016-10-14 | Julia Zang
  • Key-Systems' event calender: October

    IT-Tag Saar
    Saarbrücken, Germany

    HostingCon Europe
    2016-10-11 - 2016-10-12
    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    2016-10-13 - 2016-10-14
    Frankfurt, Germany

    Symposium MARKENFORUM®
    2016-10-16 - 2016-10-18
    Munich, Germany

    If you would like to make an appointment for a personal conversation, please contact us by e-mail to

    2016-10-04 | Julia Zang
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise Starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:

    October 6, 2016 - December 5, 2016:

    2016-09-30 | Julia Zang
  • Support hours on October 3

    Our German office is closed on Monday, October 3 (Day of German Unity). There will be no support by phone and e-mail on this day.

    We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

    2016-09-30 | Julia Zang
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise Starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:

    September 8, 2016 - October 18, 2016:

    2016-09-02 | Julia Zang
  • Key-Systems' event calender: September

    International conference for ccTLD registries and registrars of CIS, Central and Eastern Europe
    2016-09-07 - 2016-09-08
    Tbilisi, Georgia

    THE Domain Conference
    2016-09-10 - 2016-09-14
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

    INTA Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Meeting
    2016-09-14 - 2016-09-16
    Washington, D.C., USA

    2016-09-19 - 2016-09-22
    Hong Kong, China

    Annual Meeting of The German Brands Association
    Berlin, Deutschland

    If you would like to make an appointment for a personal conversation, please contact us by e-mail to

    2016-08-31 | Julia Zang
  • Release Of Short .AT Domains Commences Late August

    The release of short .at domain names commence later this month. The Sunrise period for the one and two character domains will become available to trademark holders on 29 August.

    Trademark holders, or their representatives, can apply until 23 September. Information on which trademarks are eligible can be found here.

    All applications will be manually checked by to ensure they are valid, and if there is more than one valid application for a domain, a closed auction for the eligible applicants will run from 10 to 21 October.

    All remaining domains will then go to a public auction commencing on 7 November. Following all this, any domains that are still available will be publicly available on a first come, first served basis from 6 December with the normal .at terms and conditions and prices.

    Richard Wein,’s joint CEO and Commercial Manager, said the time was right to release the domains with many European registries opening up their namespace for short domains, and many of the new top level domains supporting single character domains from the outset.

    “We have been monitoring developments and decided to follow suit, in consultation with the Austrian internet community and our domain name council. We are taking this step voluntarily without any pressure to do so. Besides being shorter, we expect trademark owners to profit most from the short domains. They can bring their branding into line across all communication channels and sharpen the profile of their brand. For users, short domains are always easier to remember. And by the way, it’s always good for a ccTLD like .at to bring something new into the market.”

    Interest has been strong, Wein continued, particularly from trademark holders.

    “We have quite a few trademark owners who are very interested in the development – some international brands like Volkswagen and “3” as well as some Austrian brands even agreed to serve as a testimonial for our information campaign. Registrars and Trademark lawyers have been asking us detailed questions about the procedures, so we believe that the industry waits in the wings. Sedo is already eager to communicate the list of domains for auction to their customers, especially outside of Austria like US and China.”

    2016-08-19 | David Goldstein
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise Starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:

    August 23, 2016 - October 22, 2016:

    2016-08-19 | Julia Zang
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise Starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:

    August 18, 2016 - October 17, 2016:

    2016-08-12 | Julia Zang
  • Release of 15,000 .fans domains

    The .fans registry will release more than 15,000 .fans domain names into General Availability on September 5, 2016.

    As domains reserved by the registry or part of the .fans Protected Names Program, these .fans domains haven't been available to the public so far. The list of released names is available on request:

    2016-08-09 | Julia Zang
  • .WEB Sells At Auction For Record $135 Million To Mystery Bidder Backed By Verisign

    The .web new generic Top Level Domain sold at auction for a record $135 million to the mysterious Nu Dot Co, which it turns out had funds provided to it by Verisign to complete the deal.

    The auction was somewhat controversial with several applicants calling on ICANN to delay citing the ownership structure of what turned out to be the winning bidder Nu Dot Co to be rather opaque. But ICANN ruled that the complaints had come too late and that additionally, complaints had not reached a consensus among applicants. Further, ICANN could not find any basis to postpone the auction from their own investigations.

    Following media speculation, Verisign then outed itself on 1 August as the provider of funds for Nu Dot Co’s bid for .web. Unsurprisingly, Verisign also said they “are pleased that the Nu Dot Co bid was successful.”

    The winning bid easily beats the previous record amount paid at auction to resolve contention for a new gTLD - the $41,501,000 paid by GMO Registry for .shop.

    Proceeds from auctions to resolve contention for new gTLDs, which now total more than $233 million, are being reserved and ICANN will consult with the multistakeholder community to develop proposals for how these proceeds could be distributed. A community-based drafting team is currently working on a charter for a Cross-Community Working Group that will create recommendations for Board consideration.

    Due to its similarity to .web, the .webs gTLD was also up for auction on the same day as .web. However there was only one applicant, and thus one bidder, and the gTLD sold for $1 to Vistaprint.

    Following the auction, 218 of 234 contention sets (where there is more than one applicant for a gTLD) are now resolved. The majority have self-resolved, but 16 sets have been resolved to date via an ICANN auction.

    2016-08-04 | David Goldstein
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise Starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:

    August 1, 2016 - August 31, 2016:

    2016-07-29 |
  • .shop premium domains: release brought forward!

    The .shop registry has brought forward the release of .shop premium domain names. The premium domains will be released in 10 price-tiers as of July 25, 2016.

    For more information, please contact the BrandShelter team.

    2016-07-25 | Julia Zang
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:

    July 19, 2016 - September 17, 2016:

    2016-07-15 | Julia Zang
  • Ransomware And Phishing, Utilising Domain Names, On The Rise In 2016

    Online security threats come from many different angles today, with criminals seeking any way they can to exploit vulnerabilities. Keeping on top requires vigilance and sometimes hard work. And they often use domain names as part of their arsenal. The cost to your brand, loss of income or loss of personal information can be high, so being vigilant and secure are important.

    Ransomware is but one of the ways criminals attempt to exploit internet users and businesses. A report from Infoblox, a company that provides security services including for protecting Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure, found a dramatic 35-fold increase in newly observed domains created for ransomware in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. This surge helped propel the overall Infoblox threat index, which measures creation of malicious DNS infrastructure including malware, exploit kits, phishing, and other threats, to 137 – its highest level ever. This was up seven percent from an already elevated level of 128 in the prior quarter, and topping the previous record of 133 set in the second quarter of 2015.

    And it’s not difficult for a criminal to become adept at cybercrime. Many ransomware attacks originate with exploit kits, Infoblox’s Rod Rasmussen notes in a post on the company blog. These kits, packages for delivering a malware payload, can be developed by a small number of highly skilled hackers and then sold or rented to ordinary criminals with little technical experience—vastly increasing the ranks of malicious attackers capable of going after individuals, businesses, schools, and government agencies.

    One example of ransomware that gained some notoriety earlier this year was Locky. Locky was initially detected in February and is a particularly malicious, spread through malicious emails, and was named because it would scramble and rename all the important files on a computer with the extension .locky following opening the email attachment. And only the cybercriminals can give the victims access to their files after one has paid a ransom, obtained after purchasing a decryption key from the “dark web”. Locky has since evolved with at least ten different downloader variants, developed to avoid detection by security software.

    And the cost can be high. Locky was suspected of attacking computer systems in a medical centre and a hospital in the United States in March. One had backups and was able to get their system up and running in a few days while the other reportedly paid $17,000 to get their files back.

    The six months between December 2015 and May 2016, according to the Microsoft Malware Protection Centre, have seen the rise of Tescrypt globally. Crowti remains near the top of the pack, as does Brolo, FakeBsod and Locky.

    There are also phishing attacks and these are also on the rise. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) observed more phishing attacks, used to steal consumer’s personal identity data and financial details, globally in the first quarter of 2016 than at any other time in history, up 250 percent from the last quarter of 2015 through the first quarter of 2016. The APWG found the retail and service sectors accounted for almost 43 percent of phishing attacks in the first quarter of 2016, followed by the financial sector (19%) and payment services (15%) while over 400 brands were targeted each month with around an average of 20,000 unique domains used for phishing.

    2016-07-10 | David Goldstein
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:   

    July 12, 2016 - September 10, 2016:

    2016-07-08 | Julia Zang
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:   

    July 5, 2016 - August 30, 2016:

    2016-06-30 | Julia Zang
  • .jetzt: Transition to Donuts platform

    The TLD .jetzt will be migrated to the Donuts platform on June 20. There is not expected to be a disruption to DNS service for existing .jetzt registrations due to the transition.

    Now, BrandShelter offers trademark owners the additional service of the Donuts Registry to prevent cybersquatting, the so-called Domains Protected Marks List (DPML), for their .jetzt domains.

    DPML enables brand owners to block their trademarks from registration at the second level across all Donuts TLDs at a fraction of what it would cost to defensively register the terms in all of Donuts TLDs.

    2016-06-17 | Julia Zang
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise starts

    The Sunrise period of these new gTLDs will start next week:

    June 18, 2016 - August 17, 2016:

    June 23, 2016 - August 22, 2016:
    .mba and .fyi

    2016-06-17 | Julia Zang
  • .club: Additional premium domains

    The .club registry will release an additional 12,918 premium .club domains for registration on June 16, 2016.

    2016-06-13 | Julia Zang
  • .shop: Sunrise will start on June 30

    The .shop registry has scheduled the launch of the popular online shopping address .shop:

    Sunrise: June 30 until August 29, 2016
    Early Access Program (EAP): September 1 until September 26, 2016
    General Availability (GA): as of September 26, 2016

    2016-06-11 | Julia Zang
  • New gTLDs - Sunrise starts

    The Sunrise period of this new gTLD will start next week:

    June 15, 2016 - August 14, 2016:

    2016-06-10 | Julia Zang
  • Getting The Right New gTLD Domain Can Help Boost Search Ranking

    Choosing a domain in one of the 1,000 plus new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) can boost a business’s search engine ranking. But not just any new gTLD. It needs to be a domain in a new gTLD targeted at the company’s industry.

    Recently, on behalf of the SearchEngineLand blog, Globe Runner undertook a case study of a Florida, USA, lawyer who moved from a .com to a .attorney domain. The result was an impressive improvement in search ranking at a fraction of the cost of a major advertising campaign along with a major reduction in paying for keywords.

    And the Cost Per Click for keywords in the legal service industry in the US has nine of the top 10 and 23 of the top 25 most expensive Google keywords. Furthermore, most of the search terms are tied to lawyers in specific states.

    As part of the study, Globe Runner looked at the likely costs for an average month of Cost Per Click keywords for the local Jacksonville market. They found in their example, using five sets of keywords that resulted in 540 searches could cost the law firm over $91,000 for the month.

    These costs were unsustainable for the well-regarded lawyer, Eric Block of Jacksonville, Florida. Block hadn’t had much success with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and found Pay Per Click too expensive. So he tried another strategy. Block listed his services on FindLaw and Avvo, popular attorney-listing websites, and working with a new gTLDs consultant registered Plus his team concentrated on posting blog entries containing keywords that hadn’t yet been ranked on search results. Very quickly, Jacksonville.Attorney started seeing fantastic results in organic Google listings.

    But the change of domain name was a key driver for traffic. After the move it was clear that the new site, Jacksonville.Attorney, began to perform much better in organic search results using a number of relevant search terms for attorneys and lawyers in Jacksonville.

    The study concluded that the uptick in organic traffic to the website with the new domain name was “certainly striking”. Globe Runner concluded their study noting that while Google has said “websites using new gTLDs will be treated by its search algorithm just like other gTLDs (like .com and .org), [they] believe that new gTLDs do offer multiple traffic generation benefits, especially because of the availability of exact match keyword domain names like Jacksonville.Attorney.”

    To download the Globe Runner study in full, please click here.

    2016-06-09 | David Goldstein

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