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.zip and .mov domain names

May 18, 2023.


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We’re thoroughly familiar with the web’s top-level domains (TLDs) such as .ca, .uk, .com, .net, .org, .gov, and .edu, and we’ve even come across more uncommon ones such as .biz, .aero, .game, or .movie. Earlier this month, Google Registry put several new TLDs out there, including .zip and .mov – same as the file extensions. The former is an extension already present on all platforms as it’s used for zipped archive files. The latter is associated with the QuickTime video format developed by Apple.

Several cybersecurity researchers spurn Google’s idea as these two TLDs could present a loophole for online scammers to lure social media or other internet users to click on malicious links. Many websites and software automatically convert sequences such as “spiria.com” and “mastodon.social” into hyperlinks that, when clicked, bring users to the corresponding domain. The concern is that e-mails and messages on social media that refer to files such as setup.zip or vacation.mov might also convert them into clickable links, letting scammers take advantage of the confusion. Google leaped to defend the use of .zip and .mov, explaining that it would keep an eye out for any objectionable use of the new TLDs.

Ars Technica, Dan Goodin, “Google pushes .zip and .mov domains onto the Internet, and the Internet pushes back.”