SOFTWARE UPDATE TO TAKE 8000 SITES OFF-LINE

As many as 8000 ‘‘.nz’’ websites may be knocked offline tomorrow as a result of a software change.

Open-source software behind the Domain Name System – which is the addressing system for the internet – is being updated to make websites load faster and to help protect websites against ‘‘denial of service’’ attacks.

New Zealand’s domain name commissioner, Brent Carey, said tests indicated about 1 per cent of ‘‘.nz’’ websites used software that was not compatible with the update and would fail on Saturday unless changes were made.

The number of websites around the world that could fail on what has been dubbed ‘‘DNS Flag Day’’ might run into the millions, he believed.

However, technology experts have forecast few internet users will notice, given that the vast majority of websites that will fail will be poorly maintained sites that have few visitors.

People can test websites’ readiness at dnsflagday.net .

The Domain Name Commission (DNC) has been contacting website owners who appeared unprepared for the change.

But in doing so it had discovered about 1500 ‘‘.nz’’ sites that had been registered with false contacts details, Carey said. It had requested registrars take down those websites.

Carey said the DNC had been stepping up its crackdown on scam ‘‘.nz’’ websites that were registered with false details.

Concerns surfaced in 2017 that consumers had become too trusting of ‘‘.nz’’ internet shopping sites because they wrongly assumed they needed to be run from New Zealand or have some association with the country.

A survey by InternetNZ yesterday showed Kiwis’ trust in ‘‘.nz’’ websites was still far higher than in ‘‘.com’’ sites, but was declining at a significant rate.  Thanks John B for the heads up.

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