Web application and XML feed
The DBS Web service has proved popular with a small group of registrars, most of them the owners of strong brands, such as banks and large webshops. For such companies, protecting their .nl domains is vital. Often, therefore, they act as registrars in their own right. For most other companies, the stakes aren't quite so high. However, it isn't only large financial institutions that are affected by abuses such as phishing. For clients with more modest needs, SIDN has developed DBS Feed. Users don't have to log in, but are kept informed by their registrars by e-mail. DBS Feed is available to registrars in the form of an XML application, which their programmers can interface with. Registrars collect information from DBS using an automated routine and pass it on to their customers, optionally enriched with customised data.
Detecting abusive registrations
Companies with strong brands often find that other people register domain names that are similar to their brand names and potentially infringe their rights. A common problem is typosquatting: a form of abuse that takes advantage of the fact that people sometimes make slips when typing internet addresses. The typosquatter registers a domain name that is just one or two letters different from the domain name used for a well-known brand or company, so that people who make slips land on the wrong site. DBS is able to detect such registrations by using a Levenshtein algorithm, which flags up not only simple variants of the user's name, but also more complex lookalikes with several different letters.
As well as undermining confidence in a brand, typosquatting is often associated with fraudulent activities. In many cases, the squatters use their domain names for websites that look very like reliable websites or webshops, but actually exist only to harvest personal data or payment information. That is why telecoms companies and financial service providers already use DBS Web to protect their brands and their clients.
Speed is vital
DBS provides users with information about .nl domain name registrations that are very similar to their brand names, so that they are quickly aware of possible abuses. The sooner a brand owner knows about a potentially abusive registration, the sooner something can be done about it. The brand owner may be able to challenge the registration, for example, or warn clients about the dangers posed by phishing. The ability to respond quickly is all-important, because it's not uncommon for a phishing site or a site selling fake goods to appear on a Friday and be gone by the Monday. In that time, a lot of damage can be done.