Important Notice to Members re the introduction of ‘.au’ direct domain names Deadline
.au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) is the non-government regulator endorsed by the Australian Government that develops and administers the rules for domain names in the .au country code Top Level Domain.
In August 2021, auDA announced that from March 2022, direct registration under “au” would be made available to Australian businesses, organisations and individuals to register new shorter domain names directly before the “au”. This means that instead of a domain name ending with ‘com.au’ or ’net.au’, it is now possible to register a shorter ‘.au’ name.
This raises many potential issues for Australian businesses including law firms, barristers’ chambers and sole practitioners and the Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued an alert warning that the new direct registration opportunity could allow cybercriminals to facilitate fraudulent activity like business email compromise which could lead to invoice fraud.
How to protect yourself
To help protect your business from such potential fraudulent activity, it is recommended that all Australian businesses with existing domain names register their .au equivalents via a Priority Allocation Process established by auDA. This Priority Allocation Process allows registrants of .au domain names registered before 24 March 2022 to allow for Priority Status to register its exact match in .au direct form.
Eligible registrants must apply for Priority Status before 11.59 pm UTC 20 September 2022 (9.59 am AEST 21 September 2022). If a priority application is not made by this time, matching .au direct domain names will become available for registration by the general public at 9.00 am UTC 3 October 2022 (8.00 am AEDT 4 October 2022).
The following resources may be of assistance:
- auDA’s Priority Allocation Process information page which includes information on applying for priority status and what happens if a name is contested;
- auDA has released a number of resources including factsheets;
- Australian Cyber Security Centre alert; and
- Media Release from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.