Libya's Domain Registry Site Defaced - And What Next For .LY?
August 23, 2011
Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi is on the way out and hackers have used the
opportunity to deface the .ly domain name registry web site. A bigger issue now
is - what will become of the .ly domain space?
Libyan rebels now have control of most of the country's capital, Tripoli, and
have declared an end to the 42-year rule of Muammar Gadaffi (also commonly
According to a report from security firm Sophos,
earlier today, hackers replaced the Nic.ly web site home page with a message
that in part read, "bye bye Qadaffi". The message also made reference
to February 17; the date Libyan protesters took to the streets, with some being
shot Colonel Gadaffi's security forces.
It's understood that no other web sites using the .ly domain name were
similarly attacked. The .ly domain extension is not just used by Libyan
residents and businesses. Parties outside the country use it as well; with one
of the best known sites being Bit.ly - a URL shortening service.
However, with Libya's future currently so uncertain, concerns have again been
raised about what will become of .ly domain names.
In an article we posted
in April this year, we mentioned the .ly extension is controlled Libya's
General Post and Telecommunications Co. The chairman of the organisation is
Mohammed el-Gaddafi, the eldest son of Colonel Gaddafi. Mohammed el-Gaddafi
is reportedly preparing to leave the country.
While it's highly likely Mohammed el-Gaddafi will no longer be in control of
the organisation, the question remains - who will take his place and the place
of other Gaddafi associates within the organisation? What will a post-Gaddafi
Libya be like - will it remain somewhat foreigner-friendly in terms of its
domain name extension as whatever new regime takes power?
As mentioned in our previous article, with so many countries now allowing
registrations of their extensions by non-residents, registration of those domain
names is sometimes not without its risks. Potential registrants of international
domains need to understand the state and culture of those nations; and that
being the case, Australian businesses are probably safest to register
.com.au domain names for critical online activities.
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