SOURCE: VeriSign, Inc.

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April 04, 2011 16:05 ET

American Bankers Association and BITS Choose Verisign as Registry Operator for Potential New Generation of Financial Services Domains

With ICANN Poised to Introduce New Generic Top Level Domains, Industry Leaders Rely on Verisign's Track Record of 100 Percent Accuracy and Stability

DULLES, VA--(Marketwire - April 4, 2011) - The American Bankers Association (ABA) and BITS, the technology policy division of The Financial Services Roundtable, are working to prepare the financial services industry for potential new financial generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and have teamed with VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, to serve as their exclusive registry operator.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) new gTLD initiative could result in an unprecedented number of new consumer domains. As gTLD expansion progresses, BITS, ABA and Verisign will work together to protect the integrity of online financial services around the globe with the possible introduction of new financial services domains. ICANN has targeted June for the completion of the requirements and may begin accepting new gTLD applications by October, with the first approved gTLDs aimed for implementation in 2012.

Verisign is the global registry operator for two of the Internet's largest TLDs -- .com and .net -- which had a combined base of more than 100 million domain names at the close of 2010. In this role, Verisign has operated a proven, highly scalable and resilient Internet infrastructure for domain name resolution, with 100 percent accuracy and stability, for more than a decade. In the fourth quarter of 2010 alone, Verisign's Internet infrastructure processed an average load of 61 billion domain name system (DNS) queries every day. Verisign intends to apply this same operational excellence and infrastructure to support any new finance-related gTLDs.

"We're pleased to be part of this strong partnership on behalf of the nation's $13 trillion banking industry and its two million employees," said Jeff Plagge, president of Northwest Financial Corp. and chair of the ABA's task force reviewing the implications and opportunities surrounding the establishment of top-level, finance-related domains. "Verisign is the perfect choice to serve as the exclusive registry operator for any new gTLDs we introduce, as we continue to grow the global financial community."

"This partnership provides the industry with both agility and ready capacity as ICANN moves forward with gTLD expansion," said Leigh Williams, president of BITS. "If we decide to apply for and launch financial domains, we will already have a team in place that understands financial services' special security requirements."

"We're honored to have been chosen by BITS and ABA as their registry operator for any new gTLDs deployed to serve the financial services industry and their customers," said Pat Kane, senior vice president and general manager of Naming Services at Verisign.

About Verisign  
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, Verisign helps companies and consumers all over the world to connect online with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.verisigninc.com.

About The ABA
The American Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation's $13 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. Learn more at www.aba.com.

About BITS
BITS is the technology policy division of The Financial Services Roundtable, created to foster the growth and development of electronic financial services and e-commerce for the benefit of financial institutions and their customers. BITS focuses on strategic issues where industry cooperation serves the public good, such as critical infrastructure protection, fraud prevention, and the safety of financial services by leveraging intellectual capital to address emerging issues at the intersection of financial services, operations and technology. For more information, go to www.bits.org/.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause Verisign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as increasing competition, pricing pressure from competing services offered at prices below our prices and changes in marketing practices including those of third-party registrars; the sluggish economic recovery; challenges to ongoing privatization of Internet administration; the outcome of legal or other challenges resulting from our activities or the activities of registrars or registrants; new or existing governmental laws and regulations; changes in customer behavior, Internet platforms and web-browsing patterns; the inability of Verisign to successfully develop and market new services; the uncertainty of whether our new services will achieve market acceptance or result in any revenues; system interruptions; security breaches; attacks on the Internet by hackers, viruses, or intentional acts of vandalism; the uncertainty of the expense and duration of transition services and requests for indemnification relating to completed divestitures; and the uncertainty of whether Project Apollo will achieve its stated objectives. In addition, there can be no assurance that ABA and BITS will be awarded, or deploy, any gTLDs. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in Verisign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Verisign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this announcement.

©2011 VeriSign, Inc. All rights reserved. VeriSign, VeriSign Trust, and other related trademarks, service marks, and designs are registered or unregistered trademarks of VeriSign, Inc., or its affiliates or subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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