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WHOIS Lookups & Enterprise Cybersecurity Policies: A Secure Way to Search for Domain Names

These days, it’s unwise to assume that all websites are safe to access. For this reason, security teams typically advise employees against clicking on any links embedded in an email, especially from an unknown sender. This recommendation may even extend to suspicious search results that appear in search engines.

What’s more, for most companies, visiting websites that are not related to an employee’s work is a violation of established cybersecurity policies and procedures. Most cybersecurity policies include:

  • Standard steps for accessing work data and applications remotely
  • Rules for encrypting emails
  • Instructions on creating and managing passwords
  • Rules on using social media
  • Guidelines for accessing nonwork-related websites

While this last policy may sound extreme to some, it has become common practice, especially among companies that want to beef up their cybersecurity posture. Their stance is ‘Prevention is better than cure’. And keeping employees from visiting potentially dangerous websites is always safer and more cost-effective than dealing with a ransomware attack or data breach.

Given this policy, though, how can one search for domain names that might help the business gain more customers? In parallel, how can security operation centers (SOCs) investigate suspicious online activities with domain names possibly involved in an attempt or attack? Thankfully, tools such as WHOIS Lookup enable SOCs and businesses in general to do extensive research without violating the cybersecurity policies mentioned above.

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Find Out More About an IP Address via WHOIS Lookup and WHOIS API

IP addresses are unique identifiers for devices hooked to the internet. These addresses, which are represented by numerical values, allow computers to communicate over the Transmission Control Protocol via IP (TCP/IP). The protocol routes users looking for Internet-connected hosts or websites to the right destinations using IP addresses as a reference. 

However, notably because of inherent design flaws, attackers can spoof IP addresses with the intention of, for example, misdirecting users to dangerous sites. For this reason, among others, it is critical to routinely scan IP addresses passing your network filters to ensure their integrity and identify any potential links to malicious campaigns or networks. 

As part of this process, it is possible to do an IP lookup via WHOIS Lookup and WHOIS API to extract the ownership details of a given address for further inspection. What’s more, both products permit gathering all sorts of relevant details such as if an IP address hosts a domain and which regional Internet registry (RIR) manages the resource.

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How to Conduct a Website Domain Search for Cybersecurity Purposes

WHOIS lookups are a viable way for cybersecurity professionals to analyze domains’ integrity. Though they may seem less exciting than, say, deploying some nifty pen-testing tools, WHOIS lookups remain useful as a first step in catching threat actors. 

In fact, identifiers in WHOIS records can clue investigators in on a domain’s past usage and allow them to pinpoint indicators of compromise (IoCs) residing within their networks. With WHOIS data, they can also identify domain associations and effectively map attacks that happened or could happen on their infrastructure. Read on to learn more about why conducting website domain searches is critical to your digital operations, and how WHOIS API and WHOIS Lookup can facilitate it.

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What You Can Find Out from a WHOIS IP Search

Did you know that an IP address can be a good starting point for a cybercrime investigation or even just a routine check of suspicious activities? For instance, when you go to malware data feeds, or any threat intelligence site, one of the usual indicators of compromise (IoCs) you’ll see are known malicious IP addresses.

However, like any threat data, an IP address becomes utterly useless when it doesn’t provide any meaningful details. What then? Tools such as WHOIS Lookup might help to dig deeper. 

So, what exactly is WHOIS Lookup, and what information can it provide about an IP address?

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How Authorities Can Clamp Down on Cybercrime with Bulk Domain Lookups

Nominet’s takedown of 28,937 malicious sites is a small triumph for law enforcement and other internet stakeholders. With help from authorities, the domain registry has been on a quest to purge the .uk namespace of rogue domains since 2009. Now, for the first time in five years, the total number of suspended domains has finally reflected a decline. The figure may not seem like a lot, considering that it only accounts for 0.22% of the 13 million domains registered in the U.K. Still, it was a milestone for an industry fraught with prolific bad actors. In the U.K. alone, an average of 800 cyber attacks per hour hit councils. This number translates into around 263 million in just half a year.

Curbing cybercrime is an essential undertaking for internet authorities, in light of new digital technologies, and the Internet’s evolving business model. Unfortunately, lack of resources at both the domain level and cybersecurity know-how, as well as legal barriers, slow down authorities in their efforts to hunt down perpetrators. This can be made easier, though, with a bulk domain lookup solution.

Bulk WHOIS API is a good example of a research tool that cyber investigators, electronic crime units, and regulatory agencies can rely on to faster inspect a significant volume of domains. With an IP address, email address, or domain name, users can obtain pertinent registrant information for a group of web addresses. Let’s take a closer look at how users can get more out of the solution.

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How a Domain Checker Helps in Digital Forensics and Incident Response

Digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) experts have a unique yet essential role in maintaining the overall cybersecurity of any organization. They are responsible for gathering data about ongoing attacks or attempts, mitigating their possible effects, and implementing post-attack actions. That includes digging deeper to obtain evidence to enhance their cyber defense as well as aiding in law enforcement efforts.

The fact that attacks are getting stealthier and more sophisticated, though, in terms of tools, tactics, and procedures (TTPs) make DFIR experts’ jobs ever more difficult. They must not only resolve issues in as little time as possible but also be there to prevent successful attacks from causing irreparable damage to systems or their companies’ reputations.

Timely detection is, therefore, the answer. Then again, DFIR experts get bombarded by numerous notifications from security tools every day and thus can get easily overwhelmed by false positives. So they need solutions that can help them quickly verify the validity and quality of domains, IP addresses, and email addresses that their users come in contact with. Domain search solutions such as WHOIS Lookup and its API version WHOIS API may just be what they are looking for. Let’s discuss the reasons why.

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4 App Development Challenges a WHOIS Data Lookup API Can Help Address

About 90% of the time people spend on their mobile devices is app use. And with almost half of the world’s 7.7 billion population using their phones and tablets every day, the app development market is indeed a financially rewarding sector. In fact, experts predict the overall market’s revenue to reach $407 billion by 2026.

But like any other booming market, the app development sector has several hurdles to overcome. What immediately comes to mind is the challenge of creating an app with minimal bugs and glitches. Then, there is also the issue of marketability. How do you make sure it gets downloaded and used by the people you created them for?

A WHOIS data lookup API may be able to help. We specifically explored four app development challenges where WHOIS API can make a difference.

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Posted on April 6, 2020

7 Ways Domainers Can Benefit from Bulk Domain Checking

The Internet real estate market is growing at an unprecedented rate and so is the demand for premium domains. That’s a good thing for domainers though, which also means there is a need to be creative and efficient in securing the most sought after domains to invest in. There are different tools that can help with this purpose, but a Bulk WHOIS API, in particular, can turn out invaluable to streamline domain bulk searches.

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Posted on March 19, 2020

How to Search for a Domain Name: 6 Domain Purchasing Best Practices

Not everyone is truly aware of the ramifications of buying a domain. There are many factors to consider in order to make a good purchase and later avoid undesirable connections to, say, malicious individuals and their networks. So, how could a domain name be dangerous, after all? Those in the cybersecurity industry know that cyber attackers can weaponize a domain name for use against organizations and networks.

This article aims to shed light on why domain buyers, such as those without cybersecurity or marketing know-how, should conduct some research on domains of interest with the help of tools such as WHOIS Lookup, Domain Availability API or Domain Research Suite.

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Posted on March 2, 2020

How to Maintain Your Domain’s Integrity for Better Cybersecurity with a Domain Name API

In a technologically-forward world we live in today, cybercriminals are employing more sophisticated attacks to compromise domains. In the latest report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), email frauds such as business email compromise (BEC) scams via spoofed domains have caused users $26 billion in losses.

For this reason, domain name security is now more important than ever. You can never be sure who is getting to you except when you take the time to get to know them. And that is possible with the use of domain name tools like WHOIS API.

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Posted on February 4, 2020

Uncovering Criminal Bulk Registration Activities with Bulk Domain Name Checkers

To propagate cyberattacks, threat actors use domain generating algorithm (DGA) as an evasion tactic. This algorithm, executed through various subroutines, involves switching or dropping thousands of domains in seconds.

The relative ease with which cybercriminals can purchase domains in bulk makes it possible for them to accomplish DGA-enabled attacks. Dirt-cheap prices and lack of identity verification enable hackers to own domains while also staying anonymous.

In fact, registrars typically offer privacy protection services at a small cost or for free, which nefarious actors may take advantage of to conceal their location and details. Additionally, the introduction of the Temporary Specification for Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) data has led to masking or redacting WHOIS data, which, of course, benefits not just those who wish to protect their privacy, but also those with malicious intent.

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Posted on January 9, 2020

How Bulk Whois API Can Boost Your Business

It can be said without a doubt that businesses of the 21st century are all geared towards the internet. With rapid advancements in digital technology and the exponential growth of the online ecosystem, it hardly comes as a surprise that businesses have to maintain a considerable presence on the web in order to cater to the needs of the online population. Apart from this, the rapid proliferation of the internet into even the most remote corners of the world has opened up new business avenues and markets that were previously difficult to access, or even altogether unavailable for business. This has naturally incentivized businesses to move online.

However, as with everything, there is a flipside to this as well. According to the latest statistics there are currently well over 1 billion websites on the internet, and this number is growing every second. This creates an environment where much of the business interactions are carried out on digital platforms. As a result, the requirement for trust establishment becomes a vital factor in the scheme of things. When you are dealing with an online entity it helps to know the person behind the (web) page.

Bulk Whois API is our latest endeavour to help you do exactly that, and more.

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Posted on January 9, 2020

Optimizing Threat Hunting with Bulk Domain Search

Threat hunting involves proactively looking for signs of attack within your network, by means of a set of indicators of compromise (IoCs). These IoCs are compared with network access logs to pinpoint if any of the users are unauthorized. More specifically, threat hunters can use Domain Name System (DNS) and firewall logs to list all IP addresses and domains connected or trying to gain access to the network.

This is relevant because many attackers typically hide malicious traffic within legitimate traffic to successfully infiltrate a target network. Once that is done, they can easily carry out the rest of the steps in their carefully orchestrated attack. Attackers will generally wish to gain command and control (C&C) of a system to gain entry into connected systems and devices. When that’s done, they can move laterally throughout the network and exfiltrate data to their own remote servers. Since they are using compromised systems, the C&C traffic typically goes undetected.

However, anomalies such as when a system that is not designed to upload data to servers but does so anyway can be indicative of an ongoing attack that threat hunters should look into.

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Posted on November 21, 2019

Email Verification: spam stories, part 2 or phishermen on board

In this series of blogs, we investigate the background of individual spam mail cases. By using tools provided by WhoisXML API: the domain reputation, WHOIS, and e-mail verification APIs, we unfold the background of these messages. This approach also reveals interesting details about the behavior and habits of spammers and cybercriminals using e-mail, typically for phishing.

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Posted on November 11, 2019

Email Verification: spam stories, part 1

In spite of all the effort e-mail providers put in worldwide, every user receives a tremendous amount of unwanted and malicious mail to any e-mail account. It is indeed annoying, but let's look on the bright side: we can use these examples to demonstrate how useful the APIs by WhoisXML API can be in the battle against unwanted spam e-mails. In today's example we'll be using the e-mail verification API, the domain reputation API and the WHOIS API to analyze a spam email message which was not caught by a well-configured open-source spam filtering system.

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