When you register a domain name for your business’s online presence, you enter a database known as the WHOIS. Some individuals just consider WHOIS data to be the information that must be available in any domain name when your registrar wants it. However, they are unaware of the significance of this data, as well as of its origins, current infosec implications, and power.
Keep reading to find out more about these subjects and how the WHOIS lookup may enhance your everyday infosec assessments.
What does WHOIS stand for?
WHOIS information, commonly referred to as WHOIS data or WHOIS details, is a global database feed of domain owners that includes people who register domain names. You must always enter your name and contact details when registering a domain, including:
1. Name and Postal address
2. Email and telephone
3. City’s ZIP code
4. State and Country
Whois Lookup API
The Whois API serves well-parsed, structured information on domain names. Including the date of registration, the date of expiration, the registrar and owner details, and the host name server. This can be used to develop advanced search methods, investigate phishing and scams. Also, to safeguard brands, and make informed decisions about marketing efforts.
Whois History API
You may easily and quickly explore previous domain ownership information thanks to the Whois history API. You can get specific historical domain whois record information from whois history data, including renewal dates, host name servers, registrants, and registrars. Millions of new, distinct domain entries are being added to the domain whois database every day. Which is expanding the inventory swiftly.
Reverse Whois Api
You can use the terabytes of Whois data and the reverse whois lookup API to search domain information by owner name, email address, domain keyword, or company name. It can be applied to B2B marketing, domain co-relation, brand monitoring, and domain authority scoring.
Using Whois Lookup Api
The ownership record for a domain name or IP address, along with the standard registration information, is provided via the Whois Lookup API. The API is built to accommodate a large number of parallel queries and is optimized to respond promptly. If you need to process a large number of domains or have a busy website, this is the best option to use.
The response contains the most recent Whois entry that’s available for the IP address or domain name you mentioned in the URL. This guarantees a consistently quick response without relying on external servers and typically provides a record that has been updated recently. The whois response node’s date attribute can be used to determine the record’s age. And determine whether it was updated recently enough to meet your needs.
Rarely, you might be able to request a domain for which there isn’t a recent Whois record. The system will respond with an error if that happens.
Short History Of Whois
The WHOIS database dates back to 1980, at the height of the renowned ARPANET. In those days, the only WHOIS service available was an ARPANET users directory, which listed all of the network’s active connections. The only contact details listed in this directory werethose of ARPANET users. The formal WHOIS specifications, which were outlined in RFC 920, called for both technical and administrative data.
At that time, you would query the main WHOIS database to conduct a WHOIS lookup. Then, in 1993, General Atomics, Network Solutions Inc., and AT&T created InterNIC. Some WHOIS servers enabled a serious security flaw by default while yet allowing users to do WHOIS wildcard searches. These days, we refer to the security flaw as domain enumeration or reverse domain lookup.
Models for Whois Lookup Data
Contrary to popular belief, WHOIS data is not kept in a single location. On the WHOIS servers, WHOIS records are kept in one of two ways:
WHOIS Thin Model: This kind of Whois Api model responds with the registrar’s name, the date the domain was registered, and the name servers that were employed.
In the thin model, in addition to basic information, the WHOIS server retains the name of another WHOIS server that holds the whole Registrar data (as in the case of the.com TLD). A second query to the server would be required to access all the data.
WHOIS Thick Model: The thick WHOIS model expands the information by including information about the registrar as well as technical and administrative details.
Because it’s the quicker approach and only asks for one query, a WHOIS lookup typically displays all the details about the domain name owner (thick model).
The Functions of the WHOIS Search
As we have already seen, the Whois Api model was nothing more than a user directory during the ARPANET era. However, as the years went by, WHOIS data grew much more personal, including complete contact information. Making it one of the most valuable data sets for doing data reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations.
The WHOIS lookup’s primary objective and functions have changed with time, and it is now used for a variety of purposes, such as:
1. Tracking down spamming, phishing, and domain cracking activities.
2. To assist in investigations by the federal government into websites that spread abusive content. Such as xenophobia, child abuse, child pornography. The sale of illegal narcotics, hatred, violence, racial and socioeconomic prejudice, etc.
3. Providing the information required to make the Internet as secure and open as possible to ISPs, network operators, security organizations. And governmental law enforcement organizations
4. Assisting trademark enforcement organizations with their investigations into unauthorized use of registered company names or products via domain names. Or unauthorized trademark promotion.
5. Preventing online fraud by assisting consumers in spotting phishing attacks on banks and other login-based web interfaces in general.
The Sum Up
Using the ‘whois’ command from your terminal is one of the most common ways to conduct a WHOIS lookup. You can execute a WHOIS query against the database servers on the majority of Unix and Linux operating systems, thanks to the WHOIS client. In some cases, WHOIS lookups from the terminal won’t function for certain TLDs. In this instance, you’ll need to contact the registrar directly and request the necessary WHOIS information.