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New email verification requirement: A 2014 obligation

All registrars worldwide wishing to sell the new TLDs signed a new ICANN contract at the end of 2013. This contract included, among other things, a new and important obligation: the systematic verification of contact information of all domain name owners. This affects new registrations of domains under ICANN authority, including .com, .net and so on as well as all the new gTLDs (.paris, .web, etc.). Domains registered before 31 December 2013 are not affected.

If this verification cannot be completed, the newly registered domain name or names owned by the uncontactable handle will be deactivated after 15 days.

To comply with this new ICANN requirement at Gandi, we have chosen to verify the email address of the contact used to register the domains. In order to verify the email address, we will systematically send a message to anyone registering a domain at Gandi containing a simple verification link.

IMPORTANT: This link will NOT ask you to log in! You will simply be asked to click the link and load the validation page. You will NOT be prompted to provide any information whatsoever, least of all your password.

We repeat: The link in a legitimate verification email from Gandi will not ask you to enter a password or any other information!

Why do we insist on repeating this point? Simply because nefarious types have already started to take advantage of this new ICANN process to phish domain name owners. Many registrars had warned ICANN about this obvious risk, but the international organization has nonetheless decided to impose the requirement.

We invite you, therefore, to be extra vigilant over the next few months: don't trash any emails regarding verification of your domain name, because if you miss the one we send, your registered domains might be deactivated. At the same time, be careful, as you are likely to be targeted by phishing attempts, some of which are already underway. If you are in doubt, don't hesitate to contact Gandi support with the full headers of any suspicious email you receive.

Another point: we are applying the email verification procedure to all newly registered domain names – whether they are ICANN-managed TLDs or not – because the the vast majority of our domain customers possess or will possess an ICANN-managed domain. And since this procedure will only be required once per email address, once your address has been verified, you're good to go.

Lastly, if you don't complete the procedure but have only non-ICANN TLDs, there will be no consequence for your domains.

Note: The French version of this post can be found here.