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What are TLD Zone Files?

TLD Zone Files contain data describing a portion of the domain name space for specific top level domains. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers. Each registry updates TLD zone files for its respective TLDs.

How do I create an account?

On the home page there is a button that says Create new account.

Fill out the user account form and then click the “Create new account” button at the bottom of the page.  A confirmation email will be sent from no-reply@icann.org.  Please check your inbox and spam filter in order to access the email.  Email should contain a link that you may use in case you need to reset your password.

Why Access Zone Data?

One form of zone file access provides anticrime organizations, businesses, law enforcement and researchers with a means to download the entire zone file "in bulk". These organizations apply the bulk zone data in many ways, and among the most important of these applications are efforts to combat phishing, spam, brand and trademark infringements, and other malicious uses of domains.

How Can I Access Zone Data?

To obtain access to TLD zone data in bulk, an individual or organization must sign an agreement with a registry and agree to the registry's terms of service.  The CZDS is a Centralized Zone Data Service in order to simplify the process of requesting zone file data and entering into individual and standardized agreements with the registries who provide TLD Zone Files.

System Requirements for CZDS website

The CZDS website provides sensitive information, and therefore requires a relatively modern browser capable of decrypting file transfer credentials and other sensitive information. This requirement is not absolute; should a Registry Operator choose to grant access to zone data using direct downloads instead of file transfers, then the links supplied on each Request will be supported by most any web browser.

If zone data is only available via file transfer, the following browsers have been tested and can successfully decrypt the information necessary to retrieve zone data. The version numbers listed are the minimum required. Unless otherwise noted any newer version is also compatible:

Each browser has been linked to its download page if applicable, allowing you to update your browser of choice. Alternatively, use the update features inside each browser.

Decrypt SFTP credentials

If a Registry has selected SFTP credentials as the access method for a particular TLD, you will need to use your private key in order to unlock and view the credentials. Before you can make any requests, the CZDS site will force you to generate a key and you will need to save it. You must have the key handy when you want to view SFTP credentials.

 an animated screen capture of the drag and drop process

Drag and drop your key

  1. Scroll to the area labeled Zone Data Files.
  2. Physically drag the private key from your computer into the Request details area, as pictured here.
  3. Drop the key in the area which says "Drag your key here to unlock"
  4. The decryption process can take up to 2 seconds, although many browsers finish instantaneously.

Paste your key

  1. Scroll to the area labeled Zone Data Files.
  2. Open your private key file and copy the contents of it to your clipboard.
  3. Paste the contents of the key into the text area underneath the Unlock button
  4. Click Unlock
  5. The decryption process can take up to 12 seconds in older versions of IE

IMPORTANT!
Please note that the requests you place after creating your key will be encrypted for the key you created. If you loose the key, CZDS can not create the same key again. Therefore you will not be able to decrypt files requested. After creating your key, please store it at a location you will be able to reach afterwards. If you loose the key, create it again before making new requests because the new key cannot be used to decrypt files you receive before creating it.