[UA-discuss] UASG Response to WordFence IDN Phishing concerns

Dusan Stojicevic dusan at dukes.in.rs
Wed Apr 26 09:50:24 UTC 2017

Dear all,


To properly address and explain this problem. The nature of this attacks on a global level suggest that they will be done through most used gTLDs (old and new) who allows different scripts, which is by far> .com.

For local level it can be done under ccTLDs and geoTLDs who allows different script.

Now, the real picture, Don, is that we have a lot of registries who mix scripts in the table.

You can look at IANA tables and see what is there. One example is .SU which allows all Cyrillic scripts from ex-Soviet Union (USSR).

Then, there are ccTLDs like .PL, mixing the whole Unicode for years. I can understand why some ccTLDs allow that: in countries, there are a lot of minorities, so excluding their script from the table of national ccTLDs is not politically correct. To know if those cc’s allows usage of different (or even mixing) scripts and the attack can be created, we need to check local rules – and they are NOT something that ICANN is aware off, or something that ICANN can easily change. Even rules for the root zone, which are mentioned during this discussion, for the cc’s they will be presented in the form of recommendation. 

Some countries like Bulgaria and Greece, have IDN and ASCII under the same table and they have national laws on their usage. 

But, even in countries like Croatia and Romania, usage of their own Latin script can produce some of homographic attack. Like> coca-cola.hr and coča-cola.hr (confusion). Homographic attack is not a problem only in usage of different script under one TLD – they can be done under one, f.e. Latin, script also.

Andrei suggested one way to address problem, but it can’t be the rule, because of political and other logical questions inside the countries. It’s in the ruleset of every single registry – who allows mixing script or not.

You can have 20 different scripts in table, if you strictly avoid mixing, you are ok – and cross script homographic attack are not possible. 

But, single script attacks are staying possible, such as IBM.рф or саре.рф.

If you want to change agreement with cc’s, in order to address their rules for registration, is not going to be easy task for ICANN, because of the nature of agreements. Some of them are just in the form of „exchange of letters“ and zou know which level of agreement is that.  







From: ua-discuss-bounces at icann.org [mailto:ua-discuss-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Andrei Kolesnikov
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:46 AM
To: Don Hollander <don.hollander at icann.org>
Cc: Dr. AJAY D A T A <ajay at data.in>; `tan tanakadennis via ua-discuss` <ua-discuss at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [UA-discuss] UASG Response to WordFence IDN Phishing concerns


there is no such thing as IDN at .RU - only ascii allowed - we understood the problem long time ago due to similarity of many Cyrillic letters with Latin. 

In IDN .РФ in Russia only Cyrillic allowed. 
This definitely must be the rule for registries. Or some kind of immediate mitigation service to bring down dangerous domains. 



2017-04-26 11:34 GMT+03:00 Don Hollander <don.hollander at icann.org <mailto:don.hollander at icann.org> >:

Hi Andrei:


What about at the ccTLD?  idn.ru <http://idn.ru/> ?   Does .ru also allow ASCII?


Does the .ru registry, for example, do anything to address homoglyphs between ascii and cyrillic?




On 26/04/2017, at 8:30 PM, Andrei Kolesnikov <andrei at rol.ru <mailto:andrei at rol.ru> > wrote:


most use of idn.ascii gTLD as far as I know is .com for example http://путин.com/[xn--h1akeme.com] <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__xn-2D-2Dh1akeme.com_&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=YI0XKyKCabKQi3GVWLvuoyCWjH9WBgEBxLbMnmhSRwo&m=b2_5n2l3R5eXR7olCx9BY0h-_Kk-odvJXTKIexpQvuM&s=Aumtm9oLaw_1FAQZ4MvKpmNHj3khbV5zlM_VGiARFFQ&e=> 

Basically most of the confusing cases discussed above are from .com



2017-04-26 10:35 GMT+03:00 Dr. AJAY D A T A <ajay at data.in <mailto:ajay at data.in> >:

Hello Don, 

Which all registries are allowed to register mix of scripts domain while registering an IDN. I checked .pyc (Cyrillic) and .भारत (Devanagiri) do not allow mix of scripts.  I think we address those registries through ICANN by modifying the registry agreement, major problem can be solved. 



Dr. Ajay DATA  | Founder & CEO 

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From: "Tan Tanaka,Dennis via UA-discuss" <ua-discuss at icann.org <mailto:ua-discuss at icann.org> >  MailId : [68456683]
To: Don Hollander <don.hollander at icann.org <mailto:don.hollander at icann.org> >,"ua-discuss at icann.org <mailto:ua-discuss at icann.org> " <ua-discuss at icann.org <mailto:ua-discuss at icann.org> >
Subject: Re: [UA-discuss] UASG Response to WordFence IDN Phishing concerns
Date: 25 Apr 2017 06:28:22 PM 


Don, my comments enclosed





From: <ua-discuss-bounces at icann.org <mailto:ua-discuss-bounces at icann.org> > on behalf of Don Hollander <don.hollander at icann.org <mailto:don.hollander at icann.org> >
Date: Monday, April 24, 2017 at 5:40 PM
To: "UA-discuss at icann.org <mailto:UA-discuss at icann.org> " <ua-discuss at icann.org <mailto:ua-discuss at icann.org> >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [UA-discuss] UASG Response to WordFence IDN Phishing concerns


Further to recent discussion on this list, we have drafted a document that we plan on posting as a Blog Post to the UASG Web site that can be referenced by others.


We want to get feedback from the community on this document by Thursday UTC.


So, here it is – pasted below and as a word document in case you want to enable tracking and make amendments.   If you have comments or suggestions, please share them to this group.






IDNs and Phishing: What You Need to Know



 <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.icann.org_resources_pages_idn-2D2012-2D02-2D25-2Den&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=YI0XKyKCabKQi3GVWLvuoyCWjH9WBgEBxLbMnmhSRwo&m=b2_5n2l3R5eXR7olCx9BY0h-_Kk-odvJXTKIexpQvuM&s=JGHMSOqc_3GaqYY6Sf8m9MBfj3dj9vTRIsoi3E_9KRc&e=> Internationalized Domain Names[icann.org] (IDNs) are growing in popularity, a testament to their role in the expansion of the global Internet and the value they provide in connecting non-English speakers to the Web. However, you may have noticed a renewed focus over the past week of a script mixing technique that phishing scammers could potentially use to trick Internet users into visiting malicious websites. This phishing method takes advantage of the fact that characters from various languages and scripts are sometimes visually similar to each other. For example, the Cyrillic “а” and the  <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_ASCII&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=YI0XKyKCabKQi3GVWLvuoyCWjH9WBgEBxLbMnmhSRwo&m=b2_5n2l3R5eXR7olCx9BY0h-_Kk-odvJXTKIexpQvuM&s=yfwSeTzAiHcLTq4jEae3TOx116_t2m_mn8vT4UOo7Go&e=> ASCII[en.wikipedia.org] “a” look virtually identical. This technique is known as a homograph attack.  


Homographic phishing efforts associated with IDNs are not new. In fact, they date back to the early 2000s. Registries have since implemented policies that preclude mixing scripts[1] within a domain name label.


While this issue should be taken seriously and serves as an important reminder of consumer safety, various IDN and anti-abuse groups are actively working to mitigate potential threats, and there are already certain browser-set protections in place. In the meantime, Internet users should practice the same basic security hygiene that is always recommended: avoid clicking suspicious links, and use a good password manager that will only enter login credentials on trusted sites. 


Equally important is to recognize the benefits of IDNs and avoid disabling them, which could lead to an unpredictable user experience and eventually a decrease in adoption. IDNs are essential in bringing non-English speakers – the majority of the world’s population – online, and allowing those users to create their own highly relevant online identities as well as navigate the Internet in their native languages. In addition to the social and cultural benefits of IDNs, they also represent a significant economic opportunity; a recent  <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__uasg.tech_whitepaper_&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=YI0XKyKCabKQi3GVWLvuoyCWjH9WBgEBxLbMnmhSRwo&m=b2_5n2l3R5eXR7olCx9BY0h-_Kk-odvJXTKIexpQvuM&s=VMxJkqVb1W-ZyIEhQREIQRg3LsygAashMrgpllm7Qs4&e=> report[uasg.tech] commissioned by the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) found that online spending from new IDN users could start at USD 6.2 billion per year.  


The UASG’s mission is to help software developers and website owners keep pace with the evolving Domain Name System (DNS) – and this includes issues around the adoption and acceptance of IDNs. If you’d like to get involved in helping work toward a solution to this and other IDN-related issues, please visit  <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__uasg.tech_&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=YI0XKyKCabKQi3GVWLvuoyCWjH9WBgEBxLbMnmhSRwo&m=b2_5n2l3R5eXR7olCx9BY0h-_Kk-odvJXTKIexpQvuM&s=fHMruCNtXCtlHyAJqUQ0xMY3bJLSKhk8h77uH_2ctvk&e=> https://uasg.tech/[uasg.tech] or  <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__uasg.tech_contact_&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=YI0XKyKCabKQi3GVWLvuoyCWjH9WBgEBxLbMnmhSRwo&m=b2_5n2l3R5eXR7olCx9BY0h-_Kk-odvJXTKIexpQvuM&s=YqvahA1bKLAZn3Ywt6hgEEjSlYv9iV1zX3u3qDUzvXE&e=> get in touch[uasg.tech] to learn more. 





[1] Exceptions are practiced for languages with established orthographies and conventions that require the commingled use of multiple scripts, e.g. the Japanese writing system.


Do not Remove:
[HID]20170425182821379[-HID]  <https://data.in/XGenPlusMessageID:14931921150881741a->   <http://dlr.tbms.in:8077/XET21201:201704.jpg> 


Andrey Kolesnikov

RIPN.NET[RIPN.NET] <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__RIPN.NET&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=YI0XKyKCabKQi3GVWLvuoyCWjH9WBgEBxLbMnmhSRwo&m=b2_5n2l3R5eXR7olCx9BY0h-_Kk-odvJXTKIexpQvuM&s=bzXSVwk1DZEFet4B2d2K-x7-PI4e37O64WojUXqaNCM&e=> 



Don Hollander

Universal Acceptance Steering Group

Skype: don_hollander





Andrey Kolesnikov



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