This excerpt taken from the VRSN 10-Q filed May 8, 2009.
Changes in the level of spending on on-line advertising and/or the way that on-line and pay-per-click advertisers compensate owners of websites could impact the demand for domain names.
Some domain name registrars and registrants seek to generate revenue through advertising on their websites; changes in the way these registrars and registrants are compensated (including changes in methodologies and metrics) by advertisers and advertisement placement networks, such as Google and Yahoo!, could adversely affect the market for those domain names favored by such registrars and registrants resulting in a decrease in demand and/or the renewal rate for those domain names. As a result of the general economic downturn, spending on on-line advertising and marketing may not increase or may be reduced, which in turn may result in a further decline in the demand for those domain names.
Services offered by our 3IS segment rely on the continued integrity of public key cryptography technology that may be compromised or proven obsolete over time.
Services offered by our 3IS segment depend on public key cryptography technology. With public key cryptography technology, a user is given a public key and a private key, both of which are required to perform encryption and decryption operations. The security afforded by this technology depends on the integrity of a users private key and ensuring that it is not lost, stolen or otherwise compromised. The integrity of private keys also depends in part on the application of specific mathematical principles known as factoring. This integrity is predicated on the assumption that the factoring of large numbers into their prime number components is difficult. Should an easy factoring method or other method be developed, the security of encryption products utilizing public key cryptography technology may require significant modifications or would be reduced or eliminated. Furthermore, any significant advance in techniques for attacking cryptographic systems could also render some or all of our existing PKI services obsolete or unmarketable. If improved techniques for attacking cryptographic systems were ever developed, we would likely have to reissue digital certificates to some or all of our customers, which could damage our reputation and brand or otherwise harm our business. In the past there have been public announcements of the successful attack upon cryptographic keys of certain kinds and lengths and of the potential misappropriation of private keys and other activation data. This type of publicity could also hurt the public perception as to the safety of the public key cryptography technology included in our digital certificates. This negative public perception could harm our business.