The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has raised an alert on changing website domain names that simply end in ” .au ” rather than the traditional .com.au etc, as the new option has created another avenue for cybercriminals to conduct fraudulent cyber activities.
Since 24 March 2022, anyone with a local connection to Australia (including businesses, associations and individuals) can register for a new category of domain name ending with “au”. This allows users to register shorter, more memorable online names, however, opportunistic cybercriminals could register any .au domain name in an attempt to impersonate Aussie businesses and organisations.
The availability of shorter domain names can potentially be damaging for any business that chooses to not secure the new ” .au” version of their domain.
All Australian businesses will have until 20 September to reserve their .au equivalent domain name, then it becomes available to the general public.
For example, if a business or organisation has a currently registered mybizname.com.au, a cybercriminal could register mybizname.au or mybiznamecom.au and use these domains to conduct fraudulent cyber activities.
Apart from the security of avoiding potential malicious activity, grabbing your .au domain is a great idea because:
- .au is unique and easy for you and your customers to remember.
- it’s perfect for boosting brand visibility in Australia.
- you get a shorter web address that displays better on mobile screens.
Not all domain registrars are offering the new ” .au ” domain. We suggest you try to purchase from your existing registrar but if that’s not possible you can try: