APWG Malicious Domain
Suspension Process (AMDoS 2.0)

A governed process for suspending
maliciously registered domains prudently,
and with manageable scale

The APWG Malicious Domain Suspension (AMDoS) system enables specially accredited Interveners to submit suspected malicious domain names for investigation and suspension by sponsoring registrars and, in revision 2.0 that is under development, directly to Registrars of record who are participating in the AMDoS program. (SEE: Colophon, right

Closely allied with governance bodies and corporate operational directorates responsible for brand integrity and remote channel security, the APWG was able to navigate the security and legal challenges that domain suspensions need to address in the development of its AMDoS application.

AMDoS orders and systematizes suspension requests through a formal process that ensures the credibility of malicious domain reporters and integrity of their suspension requests and speeds them on their way to the Registrars of record. 

APWG vets malicious domain reporters (Accredited Interveners) with the vigor and diligence required for a responder with such potent authority.

Although the AMDoS process safe-guards against error, it still affords quick action in the suspension of a malicious site, matching cybercrime’s speed.

The AMDoS process application manages suspension requests through a formal, auditable process that:

1. Establishes common criteria for defining malevolent domain names eligible for suspension. 

2. Examines and confirms bona fides of Accredited Interveners regarding their institution’s capacity to judge consistently the character of a domain name against set criteria;

3. Provides an auditable platform for submission of suspension requests by Accredited Interveners that formalizes communications between them and Sponsor Registrars and Registries;

4. Presents Attestations from known parties to Registrars and Registries for voluntarily judgment based on clearly articulated and verifiable testimony describing a violation of a Terms of Service Agreement.

Accredited Interveners

The AMDoS process begins with vetting of our Accredited Interveners.

The accreditation process for Interveners of AMDoS is stringent. APWG vets each applicant, intervener via an extensive application process. Applicant interveners, are subject to an expert committee review for accreditation before they can access the AMDoS application.

In order to be considered for application as an Accredited Intervener, applicants are stepped through a pre-screening process to establish the applicant institution’s eligibility.


After the initial beta period, candidates will be required to be a member in good-standing of APWG and must work for an enterprise elevant to the management and investigation of cybercrime. A request for application is made to our Enrollment Manager, who then determines a candidates eligibility for enrollment.

Registrar & Registry Users

Likewise, Registrars and Registry Users are stepped through an application process to confirm bona fides of the applicant and NOC/SOC level of access and authority within the enterprise.

Once the AMDoS Enrollment Manager admits an intervener or registry applicant to the AMDoS, their institutions will have access to the AMDoS user console and be able to complete a Domain Name Resolution Suspension Request and Attestation [Figure 2] (if an intervener) and (if a Registry User) access and manage those suspension requests records on the AMDoS console.

For more information about how to become an Accredited Intervener, please send an email to support@ecrimex.net

Once a candidate has passed this pre-screening process, they must complete a formal application [Figure 1] and provide proof of valid incorporation and other documentation, which the AMDoS Accreditation Committee reviews.

Once the candidate satisfies these requirements, their application is put to a committee vote.

The AMDoS committee is made up of APWG officers and members from a number of industrial and civil sectors that engage cybercrime as a daily management assignment.


In Place Of Ad Hoc Correspondence, a Governed and Auditable Process

When an Accredited Intervener creates a new Suspension Request by supplying the required information via the Domain Name Resolution Suspension Request and Attestation page [Figure 2] in AMDoS, the system populates the new suspension request with the data from a domain name WHOIS data query, if they can be retrieved.

After being signed and submitted, the AMDoS system allows the Accredited Intervener to upload supporting documents such as screenshots and attach them to the attestation. 

AMDoS automatically distributes the request and attestation to the relevant Registry based on the Top-Level Domain (TLD) identified in the request. (If a Registry User from the TLD is enrolled on AMDoS, it will be forwarded to that user; if not, AMDoS will perform a look-up in GNSO data and forward a notification of interest by an Accredited Intervener to the Registry’s Technical Contact email address notifying the Registry a suspension request has been filed on a domain name in its TLD space.)

Thereafter, the Accredited Intervener can track the progress of the request from the My Suspensions list, and determine if a domain name has previously been reported by searching the list of all Suspension Items in the system.

Registry Users automatically see Attestations assigned to their TLDs in their own My Suspensions list.

With a click on the record, the Accredited Intervener’s personnel can assign Team Members to manage the record or to advance the processing of the suspension request and attestation.






Colophon: AMDoS launched in February, 2012 with 12 gTLD and ccTLDs. Initial users of the system reported successful processing of Attestions. However, the absense of some gTLDs among the participating Registrys limited the application's reach, compelling APWG to revise the AMDoS to preferentially route its domain suspension request attestations to Registrars of record, instead of Registrys. APWG is completing AMDoS 2.0 and is accepting enrollment requests by Registrars. Please contact support@ecrimex.net with inquiries.Now in development: APWG Engineering is marking up the AMDoS 2.0 use case and working specification, working to distill them into a programming specification. Notice: APWG members and interested correspondents may join the development program by contacting SG Cassidy at pcassidy@apwg.org.