Once upon a time, not so long ago, there were only about 20 generic top level domain extensions (the bit on the right of the dot) and about 250 country code domain extensions (such as co.uk (UK), .it (Italy) etc.,).

Now that is all changing and over the next couple of years the number of top level domains will grow to over one thousand.

This hasn’t happened overnight, but it’s happening now.

So why would you care?

If you’re an IT professional that looks after systems and services for companies then you might need to check how those services are configured.


While you might have configured all your systems correctly unfortunately there are a lot of network devices (and software) “in the wild” that have been configured to use non-existent domain name extensions. Unfortunately a lot of the domain extensions that didn’t exist when those systems were setup will exist in the near future and there is a risk that things will break.

Can you give me an example?

Sure. My home router was shipped with a basic configuration that allows it to be reachable via myroutername.box – that’s just one example, there are plenty of others. You might have your office network setup to use .office, which wasn’t a problem when the TLD didn’t exist, but if the extension is delegated stuff will break!

While this wasn’t an issue in the past, it could become a major headache in the future.

Read on for our release on the subject:


Blacknight Advises IT Professionals to Take Steps to Mitigate Potential Name Collision Issues.

Leading Irish registrar joins ICANN in public education campaign to promote DNS stability

December 11, 2013 – Carlow, Ireland – Leading Irish domain registrar and hosting company, Blacknight joins ICANN in urging IT professionals to correct potential Name Collision issues before they become a critical problem.

A report released by ICANN on December 6, 2013, titled “Name Collision Identification and Mitigation for IT Professionals”, explains the nature and causes of name collision and proposes a range of possible solutions.

Domain Name Collision happens when a name used by an individual or organisation for their private networks matches a new TLD that has entered the DNS. For instance if a company were using an internal name called “company.printer.office” this unqualified domain could “collide” with the .office TLD and cause network confusion. However, according to ICANN, the report shows that private networks will consistently, stably, and reliably perform name resolution when they use Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) and resolve them from the global DNS.

“The Collision reports on individual new TLDs are staggering,” Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon explains. “In some cases there are thousands of “internal names” and private name spaces causing collision for a single TLD as private query results show up in the global DNS. We want to get the message out to all IT professionals to change these internal names to FQDNs to get ahead of the problem.”

To mitigate the problem, ICANN recommends that users not already using FQDNs from the public DNS should consider the following strategy:

  •  Monitor name services, compile a list of private TLDs or short unqualified names you use internally, and compare the list you create against the list of new TLD strings. (You can see all applications on http://www.dotwhat.co)
  • Formulate a plan to mitigate causes of leakage.
  • Prepare users for the impending change in name usage by notifying them in advance or providing training
  • Implement your plan to mitigate the potential collision

Neylon continues: “If these potential issues go uncorrected, it will become a problem for both the global DNS and internal networks using the names that are causing collision. At Blacknight we pride ourselves on providing our customers with a pain free online experience and will continue to update and educate the community on any related developments to stay far ahead of this problem.”

ICANN’s Name Collision resources, including the Name Collision Identification and Mitigation for IT Professionals report can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/help/name-collision

For more information on Blacknight’s suite of services please visit http://www.blacknight.com


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