Are the new .zip and .mov gTLD extensions an opportunity or a threat?

In March Google announced that May 2023 would see the launch of eight new top-level domains, .Foo, .Zip, .Mov, .Nexus, .Dad, .Phd, .Prof and .Esq.

Trade mark owners were invited to register domains on the new TLDs between April 2nd and May 3rd 2023 before the Early Access Period (during which anyone can register available domains in the new TLDs for an extra fee) opened between May 3rd and May 10th, 2023. Following the end of the Early Access Period, the domains became available for everyone and available without the need to pay the EAP fee.

Since their launch, there has apparently been a particularly high demand for .mov and .zip domains.

However, security experts are concerned these domain extensions may be being bought to be used for phishing attacks and malware delivery.

As .zip and .mov are commonly used file extensions, some recipients may click on them without thinking because they are used to receiving zip files and movie files.

Reports are already coming in that software that converts .zip and .mov TLDs into clickable URLs is already in use. It even has the capability to convert links to both .zip and .mov files in old tweets to links that take anyone who clicks on them to dangerous websites.

Similarly, cyber intel firm Silent Push Labs has uncovered what appears to be a phishing page at attempting to steal Microsoft Account credentials.

With this in mind, it could well be a good idea to think about whether you should be registering your name/s in these 2 extensions. Even if it is only for defensive purposes, owning the domains would reduce the risk of the public being duped into clicking on a potentially dangerous link not to mention the risk of your reputation being impacted negatively as a result.

This is only one online threat your brand currently faces. Another is counterfeiting. Online counterfeiting is still very much on the rise. As well as eating into your revenues, it will again impact your reputation as customers buy sub-standard goods from dubious sources.

To make the process of finding and taking down these threats easier and more time and cost effective, we have designed iProvidence, an all-seeing eye on the internet. iProvidence brings the very best of Potter Clarkson’s intellectual property expertise together with decades of strategic, tactical, and international brand protection experience, to protect your corporate reputation, and brand revenue. If you’d like to find out more, please click here or get in touch to arrange a free trial.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of strengthening your online brand protection strategy by registering a .ZIP and/or .MOV domain name (or any of the other six new options), please get in touch with our dedicated online brand protection team today.