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Top-level domain expansion is a security risk for business computers

Lucian Constantin | May 26, 2016
Automatic proxy configuration requests frequently leak on the public Internet from corporate computers.

The problem is likely even more widespread than that, because ICANN has delegated an additional 201 new gTLDs since August and because the analyzed data was only from two of the 13 global root DNS servers.

The gTLDs for which the largest number of leaked WPAD queries were observed are: .global, .ads, .group, .network, .dev, .office, .prod, .hsbc, .win, .world, .wan, .sap and .site. Over 65 percent of the WPAD query leaks originated from computers in the U.S.

The issue has prompted the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to publish a security alert Monday. The team has several recommendations for network administrators including disabling the automatic proxy discovery in browsers and operating systems during device setup if the feature is not needed and a using a fully qualified domain name from the global DNS that the company has registered and owns as the root for enterprise and other internal namespace.

 

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