A Microsoft report raises alarm about a new kind of domain name that it says is ripe for abuse by cybercriminals.

The Digital Defense Report that Microsoft recently issued includes a typical rogue’s gallery of cyberthreats, including phishing, ransomware, and supply-chain attacks. But it adds an unusual villain to the list: blockchain domains.

“The next big threat” is how Microsoft’s latest annual security report characterizes domain names written into a distributed ledger maintained across a constellation of computers instead of stored in a traditional, centralized registry.

Storing domain names on a blockchain can make them difficult to shut down or even trace to their owners. It also leaves them inaccessible without special software or settings.

“In recent years, we have observed blockchain domains integrated into cybercriminal infrastructure and operations,” the report says, nodding to Microsoft’s experience last spring disrupting a botnet called Necurs.

read more (fastcompany)