Time.news – On January 28, 2020, almost a month before Codogno’s “patient one”, someone in Venice registered vaccinocoronavirus.it. It is the first of 6615 coronavirus-themed .it domains registered in 2020. This is stated by the Covid-19 Domain Observatory of the .it Registry, the registry of “names” with Italian plates.
The number of domains began to grow the day after the first Italian case was identified. The coronavirus issue has driven the numbers of the .it Registry, which in April and May had a year-over-year increase in registrations of 44% and 28%.
The risk of cyberattacks
The Observatory monitors the pandemic from another point of view, that of the web. The registration of domains, in fact, is not only an index of the attention paid to the coronavirus: it also keeps track of potential risks of cyber attacks that exploit emotionality and alarmism. Often, the registration of domains is not followed by the construction of a site. The goal, in these cases, is to attract attention (infocoronavirus.it or controillockdown.it) or arouse the interest of potential buyers, willing to pay in order to have an existing domain (such as testsierologicoroma.it, vaccinicovid.it and iononmivaccino.it).
“Among all the domains that have returned to the Observatory’s radar – says Maurizio Martinelli, first technologist of the IIT-CNR – some suggest that behind a normal address there may be hidden attempts at computer crimes, such as obtaining personal information or sensitive data , the dissemination of fake news or even, more simply, the prior registration of a given domain with the aim of acquiring its use and then transferring the domain itself to those who wish to use it “.
In addition to checking for fraud, a domain map is useful for “monitoring the progress of a phenomenon that affects everyone, relating it to the Network to prevent and interpret the needs, reactions and habits of users with respect to a traumatic event such as a global health emergency “.
Lombardy leads by number of domains
Regarding the geographical distribution, it is Lombardy (with 1514 registrations) to excel. Followed by Lazio (906), Veneto (547), Emilia Romagna (495), Campania (450) and Tuscany (409). Piedmont (357), Puglia (340), Sicily (260) and Marche (196) complete the top ten.
Just like the pandemic, in 2021 the registration of new Covid-19 themed domains also continues: between January and February, the Observatory identified about fifty. “It cannot be excluded – explains Martinelli – that the hope of a victory against the virus, with the resulting enthusiasm and confidence, may be the lever of a new surge in registrations”.