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Introduced19 September 1990
TLD typeCountry code top-level domain
RegistryRussian Institute for Public Networks (РосНИИРОС)
SponsorRussian Institute for Public Networks (РосНИИРОС)
Intended useEntities connected with the Soviet Union
Actual useMostly used by entities connected with post-Soviet states
Registered domains105,884 (7 December 2021)[1]
Registration restrictionsPassport required
StructureRegistrations are permitted directly at the second level
Dispute policiesNone

.su is an Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) that was designated for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on 19 September 1990.[2] Even though the Soviet Union itself was dissolved 15 months later, the .su top-level domain remains in use to the present day. It is administered by the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN, or RosNIIROS in Russian transcription).[3]

The .su ccTLD is known for usage by cybercriminals.[4][5][6]


After 1989 a set of new internet domains was created in Europe, including .pl (Poland), .cs (Czechoslovakia), .yu (Yugoslavia) and .dd (East Germany). Among them, there was also a domain for the USSR – .su.[7] Initially, before two-letter ccTLDs became standard, the Soviet Union was to receive a .ussr domain. The .su domain was proposed by the 19-year-old Finnish student Petri Ojala.[8] On 26 December 1991 the country was dissolved and its constituent republics gained independence, which should have caused the domain to begin a phase-out process, as happened with those of East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. Until 1994[7] there was no assigned top-level domain name for Russia. For this reason the country continued to use the Soviet domain. In 1994 the .ru domain was created, which was supposed to eventually replace the .su domain[7] (domains for the republics other than Russia were created at different times in the mid-nineties). The domain was supposed to be withdrawn by ICANN, but it was kept at the request of the Russian government and Internet users.[7]

In 2001, the managers of the domain stated that they would commence accepting new .su registrations, but it is unclear whether this action was compatible with ICANN policies.[9] ICANN has expressed intentions to terminate the .su domain and IANA states that the domain is being phased out,[3][10] but lobbyists stated in September 2007 that they had started negotiations with ICANN on retaining the domain.[10][9] In the first quarter of 2008, .su registrations increased by 45%.[9]


The domain was intended to be used by Soviet institutions and companies operating in the USSR. The dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that the new TLD was superseded by the new country TLDs of the former Soviet republics. Despite this, .su is still in use. Most of the .su domains are registered in Russia and the United States.[11] According to the RU-CENTER data from May 2010, there were over 93,500 registered domains with the .su TLD (there are over 2.8 million .ru domains).[12] Some organizations with roots in the former Soviet Union also still use this TLD.[6] The pro-Russian Ukrainian separatist group Donetsk People's Republic have also registered their domain with the TLD.[13] The .su domain also hosts white supremacist websites that have been deplatformed elsewhere, formerly including The Daily Stormer.[14]

The domain has been reported to host many cybercrime activities[15][5][4] due to the relaxed and outdated terms of use, along with staying out of focus (2% usage comparing to the primary .ru zone).[4][16] Rules for timely suspension of malicious domains[16] have been in place since 2013 in response to the issue.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "Общее число доменов | Домены России". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  2. ^ "IANA — .su Domain Delegation Data". Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b .su Domain Delegation Data IANA
  4. ^ a b c "Old Soviet Union domain name attracts cybercriminal interest". 31 May 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  5. ^ a b Patel, Neel V. (December 2015). "The Bizarre Afterlife of .su, the Domain Name and Last Bastion of the USSR". Inverse. Retrieved 21 August 2022. the .su domain has attracted a lot of attention from cybercriminals looking for a safe haven to conduct operations
  6. ^ a b "Tons of Hackers are Hanging out in old Soviet Cyberspace". Gizmodo. June 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d Marcin Kryska. "Domena internetowa SU" (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  8. ^ Юбилей Рунета: 10 лет назад финн Петри Ойала зарегистрировал домен .su (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Back in the USSR: Soviet Internet domain name resists death, Mansur Mirovalev, writing for Associated Press, 18 April 2008
  10. ^ a b Kilner, James (19 September 2007). "USSR still alive on Internet and won't go quietly". Reuters. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
  11. ^ "Domena .su wciąż używana, chociaż ZSRR już nie ma" (in Polish). 21 September 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  12. ^ "RU TLD: Registration and Delegation Statistics". Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Donetsk People's Republic 'Government' Portal". Archived from the original on 18 April 2022. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  14. ^ Ryan, Fergus. "Why Are Moscow and Beijing Happy to Host the U.S. Far-Right Online?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  15. ^ Moscow, Associated Press in (31 May 2013). "Hack in the USSR: cybercriminals find haven in .su domain space". the Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  16. ^ a b "Group-IB and Foundation for Internet Development sign an agreement to combat cyber threats in the .SU domain zone". Archived from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Генеральная уборка в домене SU".