Disposable domains: What are they and who uses them

During the early days of the internet, dot .com domain names were free to register. That changed in 1995 and pricing was $100 dollars per domain for two years.

Registering a single domain was more or less a manual process and one could even pay the original .com registrar, Network Solutions, by check. When people or companies would register a domain they had one thing in mind: to make full use of it.

Since then, a lot of water has gone under the bridge; there are several hundred million domains globally in thousands of TLDs, gTLDs, and ccTLDs. Domains are easily registrable in seconds and there are multiple reasons to register one.

Which brings us to the obvious question: What are disposable domain names?

One could make an analogy to disposable email addresses, that are throwaway emails or emails other than one’s primary email address, used to register on portals, forums, or newsletters and paywalled content. One can use such email addresses once, or a few times and forget about them.

Disposable domains, on the other hand, are typically registered for the full term of a domain’s lifespan, one year. There are registrars that allow the deletion of domains within a few days of registration, creating the true essence of disposability.

It seems that disposable domains, whether they last for days or for a year, they are primarily used with ulterior motives in mind: spam, phishing campaigns, and other cybercrime such as bot attacks.

These registrations, coupled with the use of proxy DNS services, can provide registrants with a veil of anonymity to engage in illicit activities. While registrars have implemented rules to address domain abuse, the majority of these temporary registrations slip under the radar.

In summary: While disposable domains do have legitimate applications, such as creating temporary pages for events like selling a house or setting up a wedding registry, the predominant activities surrounding them seem to be malicious, aimed at disrupting and causing trouble for their targets.

Here is a song about disposable domains created by Suno.

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