This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication - Western Union memo, 1876
ICANN, otherwise known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has revealed who applied for what generic top level domains (gTLDs) at an event in London today.
The full list of requested strings, which can be viewed here, reveals that Google has applied for a number of TLDs including .android, .chrome and .fun, although the latter has also been applied for by two other companies.
The list also reveals that Apple, unsurprisingly, applied for .apple, Intel for .ultrabook and Microsoft for .hotmail.
In fact, ICANN today revealed that out of the 1,930 submissions it received - after refunds - 750 were for the same 230 domains. The TLD .cloud has been applied for by seven different companies, for example, including both Amazon and Google.
Rod Beckstrom, CEO and president of ICANN said, "This is a historic day for the internet, because the internet is about to change forever. We're standing at the cusp of a new era for online innovation, including new jobs, new businesses and new ways to share information."
"If even three quarters of these applications are approved, the number of top level domains will expand four-fold", he added.
ICANN's unveiling has already sparked concern from security experts, who believe cyber criminals could use the new domains to create fake web sites for well known businesses.
Carl Leonard, senior security research manager at Websense told The INQUIRER, "There's a real concern that cybercriminals could seek these new top level domains announced today to create legitimate looking websites using well-known brand names.
"It will be increasingly difficult for consumers to instinctively know what may be an illegitimate site carrying potential threats. These sites can then be used for phishing attacks or delivery of malware to unsuspecting visitors. For example - imagine you received emails from 'yourbank.bank'. You might tend to trust these emails, but in the beginning at least, you wouldn't necessarily be sure if they came from the institution in which you have accounts.
"ICANN will need to strictly enforce its policies and stringent evaluation procedures for generic top level domains so that the bad guys don't get their hands on them."
Top-level domains that have been applied for will go through an independent verification process before they go live, Beckstrom noted, with the first top level domains likely to be delegated in the first quarter of 2013. µ
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