Newly Registered Domains: Malicious Abuse by Bad Actors

Newly registered domains (NRDs) are known to be favored by threat actors to launch malicious campaigns. Academic and industry research reports have shown statistical proof that NRDs are risky, revealing malicious usage of NRDs including phishing, malware, and scam. Therefore, best security practice calls for blocking and/or closely monitoring NRDs in enterprise traffic. Despite the evidence, there hasn’t yet been a comprehensive case study on the malicious usages and threats associated with NRDs using real world examples. This blog presents that comprehensive case study and analysis of malicious abuses of NRDs by bad actors.

We have been tracking NRDs for more than nine years. We collaborate with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and various domain registries and registrars, which provides us direct visibility of many NRDs registered under both generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs). We also indirectly identify NRDs by leveraging a combination of data sources, including WHOIS, zone files, and passive DNS. Our proprietary NRD feed consists of 1,530 top-level domains, which to our knowledge exceeds the best NRD feed/service publicly offered on the market.

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Source: Palo Alto