Google Is Now A Domain Registrar

Google is now an ICANN-accredited registrar of domain names, providing it with yet another potential line of expansion. The fast-growing search provider is approved to sell names in seven top-level domains (TLDs) including .com, .net, .org, .biz., info, .name and .pro.

Google's registrar status, first noted by LexText, is likely to prompt speculation about its ambitions in web hosting and blogging. Google operates Blogger, the free blog hosting service with a huge user base. Cheap or free domain names could prove useful to Google in the notoriously price-sensitive blog hosting sector, where most bloggers use subdomains (i.e. rather than full domain names (

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SBC Deal for AT&T Raises Hosting Decision for Comcast

SBC Communications' $16 billion purchase of AT&T will create America's largest telecom company. But it will also boost SBC's profile in the web hosting business, where AT&T has an impressive portfolio of blue-chip customers - including SBC's biggest competitor in the U.S. broadband market.

Comcast Communications, the largest U.S. provider of broadband, currently hosts its high-speed Internet service at AT&T WorldNet, while its corporate site resides at Digex, a unit of MCI. SBC is America's largest provider of high-speed ISDN Internet access over phone lines, and is in a pitched battle for subscribers with Comcast, reflecting a larger war for broadband supremacy between cable providers and phone companies.

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Go Daddy Doubles Super Bowl Ads, Has One Rejected by Fox

Domain registrar Go Daddy has decided to purchase a second ad during next Sunday's Super Bowl, for an overall $4.8 million investment in 60 seconds worth of air time. But the advertisement Go Daddy submitted for its second 30-second slot was rejected by the Fox Network, according to a weblog post by CEO Bob Parsons.

Go Daddy will instead use the newly-purchased ad slot - to appear in the final minutes of the game - to repeat a first-half ad, which has already been approved by Fox. Go Daddy will make the rejected ad available on its web site Monday, apparently hoping to get additional publicity from Internet buzz, and leaving skeptics to wonder whether the "rejection" was a strategic ploy to gain extra mileage from the Super Bowl investment.

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Malicious Bot Targets MySQL Databases With Weak Passwords

A malicious bot program is breaking into poorly-secured MySQL databases running on Windows web servers, and appears to have compromised several thousand systems. The malware is using a brute force password attack to gain access to MySQL installations with weak administrative (root) passwords, according to an analysis by the Internet Storm Center.

Once the bot has gained access to MySQL, it uses the MySQL UDF Dynamic Library Exploit to upload malicious code to the infected system and then connects to an IRC channel. Once incorporated into the bot network, the "zombie" machines attempt to infect other servers, but could easily be used for other purposes.

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1&1 Offers Free “Test Drive” Accounts

1&1 Internet AG, the world's largest hosting company, has launched a promotion offering free full-featured web hosting accounts for up to six months. The "Test Drive" features 1&1’s BusinessPro Package, which is its most popular hosting plan and normally costs $9.99 a month. The free trial includes a domain name and participants do not have to submit any credit card information.

The offer is similar to an earlier 1&1 campaign to promote the launch of its U.S. hosting operation, which offered up to three years of unpaid hosting. 1&1 is clearly hoping to convert the free accounts to paid customers, which it presumably has not yet done with the approximately 100,000 accounts it signed up under its U.S. launch promotion. The free hosting offer debuts as many hosting companies are seeking to attract customers with enhanced disk space and bandwidth allowances, rather than price cuts that further erode profit margins.

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Yahoo Extends $4.98 Domain Offer, Go Daddy Cuts Price

Yahoo has extended its $4.98 a year domain name promotion through at least Feb. 8, the third such extension since it introduced the offer on Dec. 10. The promotion was intially scheduled to end Dec. 31, but the extension suggests the offer is generating business for Yahoo, which is seeking to attract small business customers.

In other domain pricing movements, Go Daddy has lowered its one-year .com price from $8.95 to $7.95, having shfted back and forth between the two prices periodically over the last year. The registrar recently expanded its hosting offerings, will be an advertiser in the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, but has not indicated whether it will support its $2.4 million commercial with any special pricing offers.

Retail Domain Name Prices, January 2005
Company One-year
.com price
&nbspPrimary Business&nbsp Primary Region
Yahoo $4.98 Shared Hosting America
1&1 Internet AG $5.99 Mixed Hosting Europe
EV1Servers $6.49 Dedicated Hosting America
Hostway $6.95 Shared Hosting America
Go Daddy Inc $7.95 Domain Registrar America
Interland $7.95 Mixed Hosting America $7.95 Mixed Hosting America
AIT Domains $7.99 Mixed Hosting America
RegisterFly $9.99 Domain Registrar America
Dotster $14.95 Domain Registrar America
FastHosts/UKReg $16.86 Mixed Hosting Europe
Pipex/123Reg $17.21 Mixed Hosting Europe
Network Solutions $34.99 Domain Registrar America $35.00 Domain Registrar America