Patent application describes system that validates web sites based on reputation of domain name registrar.
A patent application (pdf) filed in 2008 and published on December 31, 2009 describes a system where a web site’s reputation is affected, in part, by the reputation of the domain name registrar where the domain is registered:
Reputations of domain registrars are calculated based on the hosting of risky domains. The more undesirable domains a registrar hosts, the lower is its reputation. The risk level of the hosted domains is also a factor in determining the reputation. When a user attempts to access a hosted domain, the calculated reputation of the hosting domain registrar is used in determining what security steps to apply to the access attempt. The worse the reputation of the hosting registrar, the more security is applied, all else being equal.
Although it may seem like just an interesting idea, it could actually have a large impact. That’s because, even though the patent isn’t directly assigned to a company, both of the listed inventors worked for computer security firm Symantec at the time the patent was filed. Symantec is maker of Norton, a popular internet security suite. Included with Norton is a search engine security plug-in that indicates if a site is safe to browse:
If Symantec hasn’t already, it could consider the reputation of a domain name registrar when flagging a site as safe or unsafe. That would certainly force a number of domain name registrars to clean up their act.