'.fi' flying high, but DNSSEC still waiting to take off


A recent article published by FICORA, the organisation responsible for the administration of ‘.fi’ domain names, highlights a continuing lack of awareness with regard to Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), even though the number of registered ‘.fi’ domain names recently broke the 300,000 barrier. The ‘.fi’ extension is the country-code top-level domain for Finland.

The FICORA article indicates that, of the more than 300,000 ‘.fi’ domain names currently registered, only 63 are actually protected by DNSSEC. This is not particularly impressive - for example, Sweden has at least 145,000 registered domain names under ‘.se’ protected by DNSSEC, and more than a million ‘.nl’ domain names are protected by DNSSEC in the Netherlands.

The aim of DNSSEC technology is to secure weak points in 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, lookalike websites used to fraudulently collect personal details such as account numbers and passwords (often referred to a ‘phishing’).

Despite the success of the ‘.fi’ domain name, DNSSEC appears to remain an unknown quantity to the majority of ‘.fi’ domain name holders and it may be some time before this changes. FICORA recommends that ‘.fi’ domain name holders contact their registrar to enquire about DNSSEC support in the ‘.fi’ namespace. More information on DNSSEC under ‘.fi’ is available here.

David Taylor and Jane Seager, Hogan Lovells LLP, Paris

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