In May 2022, we wrote about kicking off our work to measure DNS Abuse. We’re proud to announce today that we have launched our first report and gone live with our measurement initiative: DNSAI Compass (formerly DNSAI Intelligence).
Our priorities for this initiative are:
- Transparency: The methodology that collects, cleans, and aggregates the data must be as transparent as possible. To the extent that anyone should wish to, they could replicate the process.
- Credibility and Independence: We aim to have an academically robust and independent approach, separate from commercial interests.
- Accuracy and Reliability: The goal of these reports is to enable focused conversations, and to identify opportunities for abuse reduction. The data needs to be of high enough quality to serve as the foundation for meaningful changes to the ecosystem.
To ensure the report is independent, reliable, and uses academically robust methodology we are working with an experienced independent third party to lay out the methodology and conduct the data gathering. The technical analysis for this project is performed by KOR Labs, led by Maciej Korczynski from Grenoble INP-UGA.
The intention is to establish a credible source of metrics for addressing DNS Abuse. We hope this will enable focused conversations, and identify opportunities for reducing abuse across the DNS ecosystem.
We hope future iterations of this report create an opportunity to celebrate and recognize good practice, as well as shine a spotlight on potential for areas of improvement in the industry. We hope to understand through these reports which factors, policies, and processes are effective, and empower the industry with evidence.
DNS Abuse impacts everyone. We want to use this understanding to improve the overall health of the DNS ecosystem. Fundamentally, we want to prevent or quickly mitigate harm to end users, businesses, governments, civil society organizations, public services, and the general public while preserving the benefits and principles of an open Internet.
While we expect to offer much greater levels of granularity in our upcoming reports, our first report focuses on higher level aggregate data from May, June, and July 2022. We have this higher level approach for this initial report to allow for further data collection and to gather feedback as to what would be most helpful in our future reports.
One of the focuses of the data we gather is abuse up-times or “time to live.” This is an important metric because it explains how long DNS Abuse is present on a domain before the harm is mitigated. In order to measure abuse up-times, we track each domain name for 30 days which means the data in our reporting is a month behind.
In creating these reports, we have optimized for accuracy and reliability. This means that some of our numbers will necessarily be lower than some other reports on phishing and malware prevalence which may look to the URL level rather than the domain name level.
Because our data collection efforts are just beginning, we do not attempt to make any conclusions about the data at this time. We look forward to reviewing data as time goes on and patterns cement into trends. However, we do offer commentary on how our methodology captures data and will provide a foundation for understanding this complex problem going forward.
We know it will take time to get this right and we’re always interested to hear views and ideas from the community. After all, we are here to support the DNS Community and make it better equipped to tackle DNS Abuse.
The DNS Abuse Institute will periodically publish reports on DNSAI Compass.