|ICANNWiki Platinum Sponsor|
|Industry:||Internet, Communications, Registry|
|Headquarters:||487 East Middlefield Road,|
Mountain View, CA 94043
|Revenue:||$681 million (2010 Naming Services Revenue)|
| Jim Bidzos, Founder, Chairman, CEO|
Verisign is an Internet infrastructure service provider. It is s based in Mountain View, CA and was founded in 1995. Verisign has offices in California, Washington D.C., Indiana, as well as Japan, India, Brazil, China, Australia, Switzerland, and the UK.
Its registry services include the provision of authoritative directory of the following TLDs:
Verisign runs 2 of the world's 13 root servers: a.root-servers.net and j.root-servers.net, which are considered national IT assets by the U.S. Federal government.
It previously was famous for its authentication services, which included business authentication services such as implementing and operating secure networks, utilizing SSL protocol, encrypting transactions and communications, and user authentication services such as, identity protection , fraud detection, and public key infrastructure. Those services were sold to Symantec in 2010.
- 1995, RSA pioneered two-factor authentication and encryption and Verisign was founded as a 'spin-off' of the RSA security technology to act as a certificate authority.
- June, 1995, Verisign announced partnerships with Apple Computer Inc. and Netscape Communications Corp. to implement VeriSign's Digital IDs in their software products.
- January, 1996, Verisign introduced the first online digital certificate issue system at the RSA Data Security Conference in San Francisco. Verisign also announced an agreement with Terisa Systems to develop a new and complete internet security solution.
- January, 1996, Secure Email was launched. Verisign lunched Code Signing with Microsoft in March 1996. In August, 1996, Microsoft and Verisign announced the availability of client authentication technology for Microsoft IE users by using Verisign Digital IDs. 
- 1997, the First Internet Commerce Transactions Linking Europe, Asia, and the United States was conducted by Verifone and Verisign. The United States Department of Commerce approved VeriSign's plans to issue new Verisign Global Server IDs in June 1997 allowing 128-bit encryption.
- 1997, VeriSign filed to raise $40 million for its public stock. On January 10, 1998, VeriSign went public.
- October, 1998, Verisign released a fully integrated PKI platform, OnSite 4.0.
- November, 1998, Verisign offered Y2K testing certs for free.
- December, 1998, Verisign introduced digital certificate service for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) servers and gateways.
- In March, 2000, Verisign acquired Network Solutions for $21 billion USD, which was the largest Internet purchase to date.
- November, 2003, Verisign sold Network Solutions to Pivotal Private Equity for about $100 million.
- May, 2005, Verisign introduced a new 2048 bit VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA which was used to sign Secure Site Certificates obtained from thier website for IIS web servers.
- November, 2005, Verisign's payment gateway business, Paypal, was sold to eBay for approximately $370 million..
- December, 2006, Verisign introduces Extended Validation SSL Certificates, standard practices for certificate validation and display approved by a group of leading SSL Certificate Authorities and browser vendors.
- November, 2007, Verisign announced plans to divest in its slower growing units and invest more in website naming and internet security services. Report shown these steps had cuthalf of its employeers.
- 2008, Verisign sold its global Digital Brand Management Services business for US$50 million to MelbourneIT.
- May, 2009, Stratton Sclavos stepped down from his positions as CEO of Verisign and William Roper Jr. was named to that position.. Later, Jim Bidzos, the founder of Verisign was appointed as the CEO and President.
- In May 2010, Verisign sold the entire Authentication Services division to Symantec for 1.28 million. Because of this deal, Symantec now has the right to Verisign's old logo and the "Verisign Secured" tag for SSL certification.
- In July, 2011, Mark McLaughlin resigned from his position as CEO. He worked with Verisign since 2000, and had been CEO since 2009. Following Mr. McLaughlin's departure, Founder, Chairman, and former CEO Jim Bidzos resumed his duties as CEO. Another prominent executive, CFO Brian Robins, resigned in September, 2011. This happened as Verisign's stocks suffered and rumors of a buyout started circulating.
- In October, 2011, Verisign submitted its plan for a new Verisign Anti-Abuse Domain Use Policy for approval by ICANN. The policy would allow Verisign to scan domains in the .com, .net, and .name namespaces for malware, as well as to create a suspension system for sites knowingly hosting malware. These scans would be conducted quarterly, and a registrar would be able to opt out. The policy would also allow Verisign to shut down websites at the request of law enforcement officials, and possibly for trademark interests. The policy was deemed controversial, with concern about government involvement in the Internet, as well as concern from domain registrars regarding the blurring of lines between registries and registrars. Two days after releasing the proposal, Verisign withdrew the request.
- It was announced after the 2011 ICANN Board's approval of a new gTLD program that Verisign would pursue new IDN translations of it popular .com namespace.
- 1999 - Verisign aquires Thawte Consulting and Signio.
- October, 2000 - Verisign aquires GreatDomains.com.
- December, 2001 - eNIC Corporation and the .cc registry.
- 2002 - HO Systems
- 2003 - Guardent
- 2004 - Unimobile and Jamba
- January, 2005 - Verisign buys wireless photo messaging firm LightSurf for about $270 million.
- May, 2005 - Verisign buys Lightbridge, an ecommerce company; and also purchases R4 Global Solutions.
- July, 2005 - Verisign aquires security intelligence specialist iDefense for $40 Million..
- March, 2006 - Verisign anounced acquisition of Kontiki for $62 million.
- May, 2006 - Acquisition of GeoTrust Inc., for $125 million.
- November, 2006 - inCode Wireless.
Products and Services
Verisign provides its services through two divisions, its Internet Services division and the Security Service Division. The Internet Services division includes Naming & Directory Services such as domain name registration for .com and .net, and DNS-related and RFID services.
Verisign sold its Security Services to Symantec in May, 2010.
In January, 2012, Verisign raised the wholesale prices of .com and .net registration by 7%, increasing the price from $7.34 to $7.85. Registrars generally passed the price increase on to customers, and some used it as an excuse to raise their own prices beyond the 7% increase, with some increasing prices by 10 and 12 percent.
Relationship with ICANN
Verisign existed before ICANN, and thus with the establishment of the Internet's oversight body, Verisign was in a place of sustained recognition as the registry of many of the Internet's most important TLDs. While it has given up some of its original TLD oversight, it continues to manage the Internet's most important extension, .com, and others.
Verisign is consistently one of the largest sponsors of ICANN's meetings; they sponsored at the Platinum level or above for all 2011 meetings. Some commentators attributed the ability of ICANN to secure former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, to speak at ICANN 40 to the especially high level at which Verisign sponsored that meeting.
Site Finder Service
Verisign launched Site Finder September, 2003, which caused a user to be redirected to its Site Finder search engine after the user attempted to access an unregistered address. ICANN published a report against this policy stating "Verisign violated architectural principles, codes of conduct and good practice," and ICANN declared Site Finder in violation of Verisign's contracts for running the master address lists for .com ICANN then asked Verisign to suspend its Site Finder service. In October, a hearing took place place in Washington, D.C. to review technical issues with the U.S. Department of Commerce, which gives permission to Verisign to operate the DNS for .com and .net; VeriSign subsequently shut down the service.
In February 2004, Verisign sued ICANN claiming it had unlawfully been prevented from adding new features to .com and .net.. In August 2004, the claim was moved from federal to California state court.  Eventually, in late 2005, Verisign and ICANN announced a proposed settlement introducing terms for new registry services in the .com registry. The documents of these agreements are publicly available at ICANN's official website and can be viewed here.
The dropping of the aforemetioned litigation between Verisign and ICANN seems to have cleared the way for the renewal of the .com registry agreement from 2005 through 2012. The agreement and its appendices can be viewed via the ICANN site, here.
Also, in other domain name negotiations with ICANN, Verisign traded the .org TLD in return for continued rights over .com. In mid 2005, when Verisign's contract for operation with .net expired, Verisign and 5 other companies bid for it. Verisign was supported by renowned IT companies like Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and MCI. On June 8, 2005, ICANN announced that Verisign had been approved to operate .net until 2011. These agreements have presumptive right of renewal clauses that encourage the registry operators to invest in critical Internet infrastructure. They were subsequently approved to operate the .net registry through 2017.
In December, 2011, weeks before the opening of ICANN's new gTLD program, the Chinese national registry, CNNIC, announced that it was applying for the IDN equivalents of .company, and .network. This move was seen as potentially problematic given Verisign's own plans to seek the IDN equivalents of their .com and .net TLDs; Verisign has previously said that they will apply for all transliterated versions of .com and .net. Verisign's Pat Kane later added, in January, 2012, that the company was planning on applying for "about 12" new gTLDs, and noted that most of these were going to be foreign language transliterations of .com. Expected languages include Japanese, Hangul, Chinese, Cyrillic, Arabic, and Hebrew. At that time it was also noted that Verisign had already been chosen to provide registry services for several .brand initiatives.
During its first quarter earnings report, on April 26, 2012, it was confirmed that Verisign would be applying for 14 new gTLDs, 12 of which are foreign language transliterations of .com and .net. They also announced that they had been contracted by 220 new gTLD applicants to provide technical backend services.
As per routine for public companies, Verisign filed a quarterly 10-Q with the SEC in October, 2011. The form includes a section asking about any security issues that could compromise the company, and in this instance Verisign disclosed a 2010 hack into limited parts of their computers and servers. While the disclosure suddenly got a lot of attention months later, one commentator notes that it was not a big deal at all and seemed to be a "minor network breach". Verisign has since reaffirmed that its DNS was not compromised.
Selling Authentication Services Business to Symantec
Verisign's logo, a check mark and the tag "VeriSign Secured" is one of the most trusted trademark of secured website. Even though providing internet security was an initial objective of the company, over time Verisign shifted its priority to website management and its domain registration business.
Verisign began by selling some of its services piecemeal. Finally, in May 2010, Verisign sold the entire division to Symantec for 1.28 million. Because of this deal, Symantec now has the right to VeriSign's authentication logo and the "VeriSign Secured" tag for SSL certification.Verisign's Security Services included managing services such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, vulnerability protection, etc. It also provided global security consulting, email security, authentication and digital certificate/SSL validation, and Extended Validation (High Assurance) SSL Certificates.
In May 2002, BulkRegister sued Verisign for domain slamming. BulkRegister claimed Verisign "engaged in unfair practices" with a recent marketing campaign that attempted to get domain owners to use Verisign to renew their existing policy. In 2003, Verisign was found not to have broken the law and as a result did not need to pay any fine. However, Verisign was barred from suggesting domain renewal or expiration prospects.
Waiting List Service (WLS)
On December 30, 2001, Verisign proposed the implementation of the Waiting List Service (WLS) to the DNSO. Based on its proposal, the WLS will provide registrants the opportunity to reserve their preferred domain names that are currently registered by other subscribers for one year. Registrars will directly reserve and transact with Verisign to reserve the domain name under the WLS. A domain name will only be transferred to an individual who made the reservation if the original owner submitted a request to delete the domain name. Verisign proposed a $35 fee for the service.
Verisign revised its WLS proposals twice in response to the public comments and discussions with registrars and other organizations on January 28, 2002 and March 20, 2002 respectively.  On August 23, 2002, ICANN approved the renegotiation of Verisign's .com and .net registry agreement to incorporate the proper amendments for the implementation of the WLS for 12-months trial period despite objections particularly from Mr. Abril i Abril, Karl Auerbach and other organizations. The final subscription fee was $24.
On January 26, 2004 ICANN General Counsel and Secretary John O. Jeffrey sent to Verisign the Conclusion of the Negotiation regarding ICANN's conditions prior to the implementation of the WLS wherein a special provision stated that the amendments made to the .com and .net registry needed approval from Department of Commerce (DOC).  The implementation of the WLS was delayed due to Verisign refusal to seek approval from the DOC and to make necessary changes to its .net registry agreement.
Verisign filed a legal case against ICANN on February 26, 2004. The company accused ICANN of seriously abusing its technical coordination function by requiring Verisign to stop its Site Finder Service to the .com and .net domain name space. The company also added in the complaint the delay of the implementation of the WLS and the inclusion of new procedures not required by the 2001 .com and .net registry agreements such as the price reduction for the WLS service. According to Verisign, the conditions benefited the different ICANN constituencies but unfavorable to the company.Furthermore, Verisign pointed out ICANN denied the company to earn profit by delaying the WLS while other companies are offering similar services to internet users.
United States District Court Judge Howard Matz dismissed the lawsuit on August 26, 2004. According to the judge, Verisign failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove its anti-trust complaint against ICANN. Verisign, elevated the case to the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles. Verisign and ICANN settled the lawsuit on February 28, 2006. The settlement permanently killed the WLS.
Infrastructure Research Grant Program
The Infrastructure Research Program was launched by Verisign in 2010 as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the .com TLD. The company awarded a total of $300,000 to four compelling infrastructure research projects. Each project were given $75,000 each and it was concluded last October 2011. On January 2012, the company announced that it will award two $200,000 new infrastructure research grants. The two research projects that will be chosen must be compelling and the topic must concentrate on internet access and infrastructural challenges faced by users worldwide particularly in developing countries. Experts in technology and policy development who have great contributions in the growth of the internet industry will judge research project proposals.
- ↑ Fact Sheet, VerisignInc.com
- ↑ Fact Sheet, VerisignInc.com
- ↑ Fact Sheet, VerisignInc.com
- ↑ Yahoo! Finance
- ↑ Reuters
- ↑ Com Passed 100 million mark in October
- ↑ RSA
- ↑ bnet
- ↑ AllBusiness.com
- ↑ Reference for Business
- ↑ High Beam
- ↑ Microsft.com
- ↑ Highbeam.com
- ↑ University of Columbia
- ↑ Cnet.com
- ↑ Finding Universe
- ↑ The Free Library
- ↑ The Free Library
- ↑ Wap Forum.org
- ↑ Corporate History, NetworkSolutions.com
- ↑ Verisign Deals, Money.CNN
- ↑ Info World
- ↑ VeriSign
- ↑ Paypal-Media.com
- ↑ VeriSign.com
- ↑ reuters
- ↑ The Web Host Industry Review
- ↑ Domain Tools.blog
- ↑ IT Knowledge Exchange
- ↑ Reuters
- ↑ Verisign CEO resigns, The WHIR
- ↑ VeriSign CFO quits, DomainIncite.com
- ↑ Domain Name Wire: VeriSign Proposes Takedown Procedures and Malware Scanning for .Com
- ↑ CircleID: Of Canaries and Coal Mines: Verisign's Proposal and Sudden Withdrawal of Domain Anti-Abuse Policy
- ↑ Domain Incite: Registrars not happy with VeriSign abuse plans
- ↑ Domain Name Wire: VeriSign Withdraws Request for Domain Takedown
- ↑ Afilias to Apply for Chinese .info, DomainIncite.com
- ↑ Com Passed 100 million mark in October
- ↑ ZDNnet
- ↑ CNet
- ↑ News Blaze.com
- ↑ Pharmamanufacturing.com
- ↑ Silicon.com
- ↑ ZDNet.com
- ↑ Net Craft.com
- ↑ Compliance and Privacy
- ↑ CNNMoney
- ↑ REgistrars Increasing Prices more than the Verisign Price Increase, ElliotsBlog.com
- ↑ 10k Filing, Investor.Verisign.com
- ↑ Dakar42.ICANN.org
- ↑ Singapore41.ICANN.org
- ↑ SVSF40.ICANN.org
- ↑ Verisign Drops 150,000 on ICANN Singapore, DomainIncite.com
- ↑ Bill Clinto to Address ICANN San Francisco Meeting, TLDmagazing.com
- ↑ "Out-law.com
- ↑ Out-law.com
- ↑ CNet News
- ↑ ICANN.org
- ↑ Verisign ICANN deal, TheRegister.co.uk
- ↑ 
- ↑ ICANN Renews Verisign .net Contract, InternetNews.com
- ↑ Tech.Sina.com
- ↑ Verisign Wants Com and Net, ManagingIP.com
- ↑ 2011 Results Earnings Call Transcript, SeekingAlpha.com
- ↑ Verisign Plans to Apply for About 12 New Top Level Domain Names, DomainNameWire.com
- ↑ Verisign to Apply for a Dozen New gTLDs, DomainIncite.com
- ↑ Breaking: Verisign has 220 new gTLD clients, domainincite.com
- ↑ VeriSign is backend for 220 new TLD applicants and applies for 14 itself, domainnamewire.com
- ↑ World notices Verisign Said 3 months ago They Had Security Breach, CircleID.com
- ↑ Press Release, VerisignINC.com
- ↑ Reuters
- ↑ Internet News
- ↑ The Register.co.uk
- ↑ Domain Name Wait Listing Service
- ↑ WLS Revision January 28, 2001
- ↑ WLS Revision March 20, 2002
- ↑ 2002-08-23 - VeriSign WLS Proposal
- ↑ Conclusion of WLS Negotiations
- ↑ International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration ICANN vs. Verisign
- ↑ Verisign Vs. ICANN
- ↑ U.S. Federal District Court Dismisses VeriSign's Anti-Trust Claim Against ICANN with Prejudice
- ↑ Verisign Re-files lawsuit against ICANN
- ↑ Settlement Agreement
- ↑ Verisign to Award New Infrastructure Research Grants