Unhackable Websites – The future?


May 14th

Artemis , a San Francisco based Internet Security specialist organisation plans to secure the web. They have applied for .secure top level domain name via the ICANN TLD Process, in the hope to provide a secure part of the Internet.

Alex Stamos, Artemis CTO, states, “We are creating a safe neighbourhood where you know people follow the rules and you can rely on them to do things securely”

To be part of the .secure domain you will need to evidence that you have applied appropriate security controls to your web environment. The idea is, if you were to go to seczine.secure, Artemis have validated that you are secure, and provides you with a level of assurance that the websites within this space are not malicious.

Artemis, part of Britain-based NCC Group, were expecting to hear back on Friday, but this was delayed by the flaw that allowed applicants of the generic top level domains to view other applicants information on the ICANN registration website. ICANN plans to reopen applications on May 22nd, after halting registrations when the flaw was discovered. It is expected that applications will be open for five days from the 22nd May.

It is expected that ICANN will get over 2500 applications for new top level domains, with current applications sitting at 2,091, a number of these are expected to be chasing the same top level domain, for example .shop, .property and .hotel are all expected to be popular choices. Registering a gTLD with ICANN costs $185,000 with a $25,000 annual fee after that.

One can see the advantage, you want a hotel, pop along to .hotel and get a listing of all of the hotels in the world, one could also see how this would easily become a threat to the Google search revenue, if all of the shops are listed in a single location, .shop, for example, then there is no need to go searching Google for the answers.

Some have argued that Google also earns revenue from “cyber squatters”, where people have purchased domains that are common misspellings of popular websites, and placed Google adwords advertising on the site, hoping by sheer numbers to generate revenue. Artemis has stated that they will not allow squatting within the .secure domain environment.

Artemis, as with all applicants had to demonstrate that they were able to stand up the top level domain, with the ability to generate no revenue for three years. This in practice meant that the applicants had to prove they were financially secure.

Artemis has yet to release a pricing plan, but it is expected that the validation of the .secure domain will come with a premium price. It will be interesting to see if user will flock to a .secure top level domain, that provides assurance of safety, opposed to a dedicated .shop domain for the online shopping experience.

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