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Domain names in .gsi family to go by end of March


Mark Say Managing Editor

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All government domain names in the gsi family are to be removed by the end of March, the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) has said.

It has indicated that it will take down those with prefixes of .gsi, .x.gsi, .gsx, .gse and .gcsx before

Although they have officially been out of use since 2019 and PSN email relay on which they depended was shut down in 2021, CDDO believes public sector bodies are still holding on to a significant number.

Nick Woodcraft, domain products owner at CDDO, said in a blogpost this is because the organisations are concerned that the domains may be necessary for a forgotten service, but that they can be neglected and become vulnerable to spoofing and malicious attacks.

The removal of gsi domains derives from the running down of the Public Services Network (PSN), towards which many of them faced, as internet services have become more secure.

Targeted for spoofing

“Many gsi-family domains still exist in both internet and PSN facing zones,” Woodcraft said. “Most are dormant, some are misconfigured, and all are targeted heavily for email spoofing. As a result we plan to remove them entirely by 31 March 2023.”

The timeline will be to update the DMARC (Domain based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) verification system records by the end of this month, and to suspend the domains for 48 hours at the end of next month to help identify any remaining services.

At the end of March CDDO will permanently remove the domains.

Woodcraft advised any bodies with one of the domains that still works for email to start rejecting inbound messages with a bounce-back message providing the correct address.

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