Over 80,000 .eu domains have been suspended following the end of the Brexit transition period.
The .eu domain registry is run by EURid. It has suspended websites and related email addresses belonging to some 50,000 UK-based users following the European Commission’s decision that .eu domains must be registered in the EU or by an EU citizen.
Last week, EUrid emailed affected registrants to inform them that their domains had been suspended. Those that can demonstrate their EU citizenship, updating their residence to an EU member state, or register the domain with an entity in the EU will have their domains reinstated.
Domains belonging to users that cannot demonstrate this will continue to be suspended, before being withdrawn after 1 April 2021. The revoked domains will be available for general registration from 1 January 2022.
UK citizens that live in an EU country will continue to be eligible to hold a .eu domain name, as will EU citizens living in the UK.
According to EURid, there were over 300,000 .eu domains registered in the UK in 2018, with this number falling to around 81,000 in January 2021.
Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET, said that the news could attract the attention of cyber criminals looking to exploit the situation for their own gain:
“Cybercriminals adapt very easily to current affairs, so a change in Brexit laws is the perfect way to target those who may be affected. Domain changes can often demand money too, so emails regarding such payment requests can easily look legitimate without further inspection by the recipient. Phishing emails continue to rise and as threat actors become cleverer at making such emails appear genuine, the hit rate rises. All it takes is for a small percentage of the recipients to respond with credit card details and web owners could lose control over their sites.”