Thousands of bad .UK domains suspended

The UK has seen a decline in the number of .UK domains suspended for criminal activity year-on-year, a new report from Nominet shows.

The organization, which is responsible for running and keeping the .UK internet infrastructure secure, says it suspended 22,158 offending domains between November 2019 and October 2020, down from 28,937 the previous year.

Nominet says the number represents 0.22 percent of the 10 million total registered domains.

The organization explained that most suspensions come after requests from law enforcement agencies. It cooperates with a total of 13 agencies, eight of which requested domain suspensions this year.

As well as being reactive (after being notified by law enforcement agencies), Nominet also said it is proactive about suspensions, using its own automated technologies to crack down on potentially abusive domains.

Its Domain Watch service saw 5,006 domains suspended, almost double last year’s figure. Of these, 558 successfully passed the additional due diligence and have had their restrictions lifted (up from 274 last year).

The company shed specific light on Covid-19 and the way criminals abused the pandemic as part of phishing scams. So far, it has frozen 3,811 domains pending further checks. Of those, 1,568 passed due diligence, while eight remain suspended for criminal activity.

“This year, we proactively sought to weed out coronavirus-related domains registered for criminal intent and had put on hold almost 4,000 by the end of October,” said Russell Haworth, Nominet CEO.

“With less than half passing the due diligence we require to reinstate them, it’s clearly helping keep scams at bay.”

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