Nuovi domini registrati a nome di Michael Jackson

A proposito, ho scritto un post sul blog di Nominet a proposito di un picco di registrazioni di nomi di domini “.uk” che sfruttano la morte del cantante. Ve lo riporto integralmente.

The day following the death of Michael Jackson, Google published a graph showing that their system were heavily hit by queries related to this news. Details can be found on the Google Official Blog.

Our experiments suggest that Nominet systems experienced an analogous, although orders of magnitude smaller, phenomenon. The following figures show the number of new registrations per hour of domain names that contain the name of Michael Jackson (or part of it) and the number of WHOIS queries that Nominet systems received in the same period.

Michael Jackson Graphs

The two graphs are highly correlated because it is common practice for domain name owners to make WHOIS lookups around the period of time they register new domains. The peak around the 27 of June in the second graph is probably related to news stories concerning suspicions about Michael’s death.  Apparently, it did not lead to an immediate rise in the number of domain name registrations.

We have conducted an informal analysis of the domain names that were registered in the last week. The majority of them belong to three categories: parking pages, commercial pages and commemorative sites such as blogs and forums. At the moment, we have no evidence of domain names used for scam or phishing.

In general, this episode confirms (again) that the dynamics of the Domain Name System follow those of the “real world”. A question that is still partially unanswered is at which degree these dynamics are followed by Internet users, i.e. how much their navigation behaviour depends on news stories. In the following months we plan to study the correlation between DNS data and other public events. Google has done something similar in the past, by correlating Google searches for flu-related terms with the spread of flu in North America. The results are very interesting and definitely merit extension to other data sources such as DNS traffic.

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