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Click Fraud, Botnets and Parked Domains - All Inclusive

It gets very ugly when someone owns both, the botnet, and the portfolio of parked domains actively participating in pay per click (PPC) advertising programs, where the junk content, or the typosquatted domain names are aiming to attract high value and expensive keywords in order for the scammer to earn higher on per click percentage. This is among the very latest tactics applied by those engaged in click fraud activites. more»

IPv6… Unstoppable Road to Hyperconnectivity: Blame It On Opiates!

Some think IPv6 with its myriad addresses will accelerate the evolution of a hyperconnected world. But could a world where everything and everybody is sensed, monitored, located, to augment our quasi real-time interaction with the world outside our little selves, lead to total dependency, if not to gradual stupidity of the human race? Not surprisingly, a favourite topic for (late night) Internet Conference bar discussions... more»

Counting the Bullets on the (Malware) Front

How much malware is your antivirus solution detecting? A million, ten million, even "worse", less than a million? Does it really matter? No, it doesn't. What's marketable can also be irrelevant if you are to consider that today's malware is no longer coded, but generated efficiently and obfuscated on the fly. Sophos's recent statistics: "It is estimated that the total number of unique malware samples in existence now exceeds 11 million, with Sophos currently receiving approximately 20,000 new samples of suspicious software every single day -- one every four seconds." more»

Is This Only Sloppy Wording by ICANN?

So I wrote earlier that I though it was good stuff when ICANN released a paper on DNS Security. Yes, I think it was good this paper was released, and yes it points out correctly how important DNSSEC is. But, now when reading it in detail, I find two things that troubles me. And it has to do with management of .ARPA. A top level domain that is used for infrastructural purposes. Like IP-addresses and E.164 numbers... more»

Vint Cerf Caught Off Guard, Nevertheless Says What Needs to Be Said About Our Misguided Policy

This morning's mail brought news of a 3 minute 45 second video clip of very candid and very outstanding remarks from Vint Cerf. Vint says very clearly what needs to be said and what needs to be grasped and acted on by the new president and congress next year... My observation is that in my opinion it is not the lighting that is unusual but rather the camera angle. It looks like interviewer is seated with his camera pointed up. The camera is looking at Vint's chin. Consequently I sent Vint an email: "you knew you were being recorded - surely? I hope: in any case the good deed is done... thank you sir." Vint replied with permission to quote... more»

ICANN Releases Paper on Domain Name Security

Today ICANN releases a paper with the title "DNSSEC @ ICANN - Signing the root zone: A way forward toward operational readiness". The paper explains in more detail than earlier documents what ICANN view on signing of the root zone is. I think the key points mentioned in this paper are true, and in general, I think this document is a good read. It is not long, and summarizes what I would call the current view is. more»

Email Hacking Going Commercial

This email hacking as a service offering is the direct result of the public release of a do it yourself hacking kit consisting of each and every publicly known vulnerability for a variety of web based email service providers, with the idea to make it easier for someone to execute their attacks more efficiently. Outsource the hacking of someone's email, and receive a proof in the form of a screenshot of the inbox, next to a guarantee that you'll be able to get back in even after they've changed their passwords? Too good to be true, but since they only charge after they provide you with a proof that they did the job, they could be in fact attempting to hack these emails, compared to the majority of cases where scammers scam the scammers. more»

Shouting 'Bug' on a Crowded Internet…

In the last few weeks we've seen two very different approaches to the full disclosure of security flaws in large-scale computer systems. Problems in the domain name system have been kept quiet long enough for vendors to find and fix their software, while details of how to hack Transport for London's Oyster card will soon be available to anyone with a laptop computer and a desire to break the law. These two cases highlight a major problem facing the computing industry, one that goes back many years and is still far from being unresolved. Given that there are inevitably bugs, flaws and unexpected interactions in complex systems, how much information about them should be made public by researchers when the details could be helpful to criminals or malicious hackers? more»

Shim6 Host-Based IPv6 Multihoming: Ready for Testing

During the last decade, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been designing IPv6 as a replacement for IPv4. Most of the initial benefits of IPv6 (security, QoS, autoconfiguration,...) have been ported to IPv4 and IPv6 deployment has been limited. However, thanks to the huge IPv6 addressing space, it is possible to design protocols and mechanisms that are more scalable and more powerful than with IPv4. A typical example is the multihoming problem. This problem occurs when a site is attached to several Internet Service providers... more»

Note to John McCain: Technology Matters

One would think that, in 2008, the significance of the Internet and information technology would be universally acknowledged. That makes the recent news from the Presidential campaign a bit shocking. After ignoring technology issues for the past year, John McCain is poised to announce his great insight: tech policy isn't worthy of attention from the President of the United States. This is what I draw from the announcement that former FCC Chairman Michael Powell is drafting a technology plan for McCain, to be released shortly... What concerns me most is what the McCain plan apparently leaves out... more»

The Cost of Walled-Garden Designs

The Swedish morning daily Svenska Dagbladet on their editorial page yesterday writes about the EU threat to intervene at mobile roaming costs for voice, SMS and data. The editorial is pushing the point that it's wrong for the EU to try and price regulate the market, but instead the free market will prevail. They even seem to be indicating that the current pricing is fair and that an EU price regulation would hamper investments. In very general terms I would agree with the editorial... more»

BT and Ofcom

About 16 months ago, I heard Ed Richards of Ofcom speak at a CITI conference at Columbia, and blogged about it here. I remember thinking that Richards didn't seem to think that highspeed access to the internet was all that important. The market had to demand it, and the market wasn't being demanding. Also, he wasn't interested in government intervention to support highspeed access... more»

Good News from Three Spam Cases in the U.S.

They say (whoever "they" are) that good things come in threes, and that certainly seems true for law enforcement against spammers this week. In New York, Adam Vitale was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $183,000 in restitution for a week of spamming AOL back in 2005... In Illinois, an FTC settlement requires Spear Systems and company executives Bruce Parker and Lisa Kimsey to give up $29,000, stop making "false or unsubstantiated claims about health benefits" of their products, and bars them from violating CAN-SPAM ever again... And finally, in Seattle, the Robert Soloway case continues... more»

Not a Guessing Game

On Tuesday July 8, CERT/CC published advisory #800113 referring to a DNS cache poisoning vulnerability discovered by Dan Kaminsky that will be fully disclosed on August 7 at the Black Hat conference. While the long term fix for this attack and all attacks like it is Secure DNS, we know we can't get the root zone signed, or the .COM zone signed, or the registrar / registry system to carry zone keys, soon enough. So, as a temporary workaround, the affected vendors are recommending that Dan Bernstein's UDP port randomization technique be universally deployed. Reactions have been mixed, but overall, negative. As the coordinator of the combined vendor response, I've heard plenty of complaints, and I've watched as Dan Kaminsky has been called an idiot for how he managed the disclosure. Let me try to respond a little here, without verging into taking any of this personally... more»

FCC and Comcast: Reasonably Vague

So, the FCC will recommend that Comcast be "punished" or receive "sanctions" for its peer-to-peer throttling practice. And the network neutrality debate goes on, as does its ambiguities and vagueness. Even if you hate Comcast and agree with the net neutrality argument and the FCC's decision, one thing Comcast is correct in saying is that "reasonable network management" specified by the FCC in network neutrality policy set in 2005 is vague. Actually, the term "network management" by itself is broad before you even try to interpret what is meant by "reasonable", and it is not exactly correct in its application here... more»

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