Garth Bruen

Garth Bruen

Internet Fraud Analyst and Policy Developer
Joined on May 22, 2008 – United States
Total Post Views: 285,443

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Featured Blogs

Rape in the DNS

It took three years for ICANN to issue a breach notice to BizCn over the invalid WHOIS record behind RAPETUBE[DOT]ORG. Throughout the history of this absurd case ICANN staff would repeatedly insist the record had been validated and the registrar was compliant, regardless of extensive evidence proving otherwise. Despite a letter sent to ICANN's CEO and an investigation by the Washington Post, the Rape Tube stayed online. more»

UDRP Failure Endangers Consumers

Yesterday I participated in a panel at the International Consumer Product Safety Conference sponsored by the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held at the European Commission in Brussels Belgium. This conference brings together the global community of product safety engineers, manufacturers, retailers, regulators, inspectors, and counterfeiting investigators. The role of online fraud and illicit product traffic is clearly one of the conference priorities. more»

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

In a very casual and low-key footnote over the weekend, ICANN announced it would be further bypassing the Affirmation of Commitments and ignoring the WHOIS Review Team Report. There will be no enhanced validation or verification of WHOIS because unidentified people citing unknown statistics have said it would be too expensive... As a topic which has burned untold hours of community debate and development, the vague minimalist statement dismisses every ounce of work put in by stakeholders. more»

ICANN and Your Internet Abuse

In spite of the material we were presented with in Durban something has gone very wrong inside of ICANN Compliance. KnujOn has published a report which demonstrates that ICANN Compliance appears to completely collapse between September 2012 and December 2012. Following December 2012, ICANN seems to stop responding to or processing any complaints. It is around this time certain compliance employees start disappearing. This was not limited to the Sydney office as some would have us believe... more»

Compliance Overhaul a NON-Start

Happy New Year, you're fired. While most of us were getting ready celebrate respective holidays, ICANN was quietly closing a critical office and sending all the staff out to look for new jobs. When asked to confirm this, ICANN's delayed response was pure Orwellian Doublethink. The office was closed because ICANN is "assessing how to effectively grow ICANN resources around the globe." How does one grow global resources while shutting down the Asia-Pacific office right before the Asia-Pacific meeting? more»

Compliance Overhaul a Start

ICANN is clearly changing with the new CEO making immediate changes to the organizational structure and Compliance announcing a number more effective tools and procedures at Sunday's At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and Regional Leadership Meetings. It seems very ambitious and they will need to be because our year-long research, publicly distributed here for the first time, shows a complete breakdown in ICANN's Compliance functions on every level possible. more»

Accountability, Transparency, and… Consistency?

ICANN Compliance now has two conflicting answers on record concerning the enforceability of RAA 378 on WHOIS inaccuracy. This is a topic of extreme importance and one we are trying to get to the bottom of. ...inconsistency needs to be resolved as it directly impacts the current RAA negotiations and certainly before new gTLDs are deployed. more»

WHOIS Review and Beyond 3.7.8

We have posted our support of the WHOIS Policy Review Team Report with two important comments. First, on page 79 of the report it is confirmed that the RAA is unenforceable on WHOIS inaccuracy (we wrote about this while at the last ICANN meeting) because the language of RAA 3.7.8 has no enforcement provision. It is now time for ICANN to confirm this problem officially.  more»

Counter-eCrime Operations Summit (APWG) In Prague Next Week

The sixth annual Counter-eCrime Operations Summit (CeCOS VI) will engage questions of operational challenges and the development of common resources for the first responders and forensic professionals who protect consumers and enterprises from the ecrime threat every day. This year's meeting will focus on the shifting nature of cybercrime and the attendant challenges of managing that dynamic threatscape. more»

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

In our continuing review of Rogue Registrars we have stumbled upon on a very elaborate fake banking site for "Swiss Bank" or "Bank of Switzerland". To the casual Internet consumer this site probably appears legitimate, but a number of clues tip off the fraud. Phishing sites are everywhere so this does not immediately raise eyebrows until you review the Thick WHOIS record for the domain. more»

De Facto Rules a Boon to Rogue Players

In Ian Flemming's Thunderball M sends 007 to the Bahamas on a hunch that SPECTRE is hiding something there. Well, it's been our hunch for a while that the Bahamas "office" for the Registrar Internet.BS does not exist. Now we have confirmation of such. It has been documented in an explosive undercover expose by LegitScript that Internet.BS address as stated could not be verified, could not accept mail, and that the business itself could not actually be found in the Bahamas. more»

ICANN's Contract Not Enforceable on WHOIS Accuracy

This may or may not come as a shock to some of you, but ICANN's contract with the Domain Name Registrars, in terms of WHOIS inaccuracy is not enforceable. Bear with me. The ability of ICANN to enforce against a Registrar who fails to correct or delete a domain with false WHOIS does not exist. more»

Port 43 Failures Continue to Haunt

On February 16, 2012 ICANN took the new step of suspending the Registrar Alantron's ability to register new names or accept inbound domain transfers. This new compliance tool was used following Alantron's apparently inadequate response to a breach notice issued November 7, 2011. The issue in part concerns Alantron's perpetual problems with Port 43 WHOIS access which is required by the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. more»

Most Abusive Domain Registrations are Preventable

As the WHOIS debate rages and the Top-Level Domain (TLD) space prepares to scale up the problem of rogue domain registration persists. These are set to be topics of discussion in Costa Rica. While the ICANN contract requires verification, in practice this has been dismissed as impossible. However, in reviewing nearly one million spammed domain registrations from 2011 KnujOn has found upwards of 90% of the purely abusive registrations could have been blocked. more»

KnujOn Releases New Security, Abuse and Compliance Report

We have just issued a new report detailing abuse of the Domain Name System and Registrar contract compliance issues. The report specifically discusses several items including: Registrars with current legal issues; Illicit Use of Privacy-Proxy WHOIS Registration; A study on the contracted obligation for Bulk WHOIS Access; and more. more»

Proxy-Privacy User Higher for Illicit Domains

WHOIS issues are looming large for the ICANN meeting next week, starting with an all-day WHOIS Policy Review on Sunday (background). WHOIS is a subject that has been the recent topic of a number of issues including a debacle over potentially disclosing the identities of compliance reporters to spammers and criminal domainers. more»

Two Years Later Dozens of Registrars Still in the Shadows

In June of 2008 KnujOn reported that 70 Registrars did not have a business address listed in the InterNIC Registrar Directory. Only after reporting a month later that little had changed did ICANN perform a mass update of the directory. On further inspection we found many of the newly disclosed addresses were phantom locations, false addresses, and PO boxes. more»

Policy Failure Enables Mass Malware: Part II (ICANN and OnlineNIC)

On Wednesday September 29th at 1PM there will be a meeting in the Old Executive Building in Washington D.C. with Registries and domain Registrars to discuss illegal Internet sales of prescription drugs. ICANN was originally invited but declined because citing "inappropriateness" . One "U.S." Registrar who definitely will not be in attendance is OnlineNIC more»

Policy Failure Enables Mass Malware: Part I (Rx-Partners/VIPMEDS)

This is the first in a series of releases that tie extensive code injection campaigns directly to policy failures within the Internet architecture. In this report we detail a PHP injection found on dozens of university and non-profit websites which redirected visitor's browsers to illicit pharmacies controlled by the VIPMEDS/Rx-Partners affiliate network. This is not a unique problem, however the pharmacy shop sites in question: HEALTHCUBE[DOT]US and GETPILLS[DOT]US should not even exist under the .US Nexus Policy. more»

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

We have just returned from the Brussels, Belgium ICANN meeting where we released our Registrar audit, the Internet "Doomsday Book." There are many topics covered in the report, but we wanted to follow up specifically on the issue of WHOIS access and add data to our previous column Who Is Blocking WHOIS? which covered Registrar denial of their contracted obligation to support Port 43 WHOIS access. more»

KnujOn Releases Internet "Doomsday Book"

Reporting from Brussels, Belgium. Since January KnujOn has been conducing its own audit of ICANN Registrar contractual compliance and illicit commerce within the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) space. Our findings are shocking. more»

Who is Blocking WHOIS?

On April 16 ICANN issued a breach notice to Turkish Registrar Alantron for not consistently providing access to its WHOIS database via Port 43, a command-line query location that all Registrars are required to supply under conditions of their contract with ICANN under section 3.3.1. Four days later they issued a breach to Internet Group do Brazil for the same problem. ... The WHOIS record, as we all know, is a massive fraud with illicit parties filling records with bogus information and hiding behind anonymity. more»

Registrar Abacus America is in Corporate Delinquency

KnujOn has retrieved a document indicating that the ICANN-Accredited Registrar Abacus America is in Corporate Delinquency in the state of Kansas. Kansas defines a company as Delinquent if "The business entity has not filed its annual report and fee by the due date." ... This incident is significant because Abacus America was cited by LegitScript and KnujOn for sponsoring an unlicensed pharmacy selling Schedule 3 substances... more»

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid

Since November of last year we have been discussing the problem of illicit and illegal online pharmacy support by ICANN-accredited Registrars. In several articles and direct contact with the Registrars we have tirelessly tried to convey the seriousness of this problem, many listened, some did not... With the background information already known, the case presented here is much more specific and concerns EvaPharmacy, which was until recently, the world's largest online criminal pharmacy network. more»

MIT 2010 Spam Conference Starts Tomorrow…

In January we presented the glorious history of the MIT spam conference, today we present the schedule for the first day. Opening session will be from this author, Garth Buren with a topic entitled The Internet Doomsday Book, with details be released the same day as the presentation. Followed by Dr. Robert Bruen with a review of activities since the last MIT spam conference... more»

Should a Domain Name Registrar Run from a PO Box?

In 2008 KnujOn published a report indicating that 70 ICANN accredited Registrars had no publicly disclosed business location. The fundamental problem was one of community trust and consumer faith. Registrars extend their legitimacy to their domain customers who then transact and communicate with the public. more»

MIT Spam Conference: 2010 Call for Papers and Participation

I am proud (or disappointed) to announce the 8th annual MIT Spam Conference, March 25th and 26th at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A regular research competition that brings out the best minds in the fight against unsolicited email. At this point it would be helpful to provide a little background on the conference and remind everyone that the Call For Papers is still open. more»

Internet Drug Traffic, Service Providers and Intellectual Property

You could call this Part Three in our series on Illicit Internet Pharmacy. Part One being What's Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic, Part Two being Online Drug Traffic and Registrar Policy. There are a few facts I'd like to list briefly so everyone is up to speed. The largest chunk of online abuse at this time is related to illicit international drug traffic, mostly counterfeit and diverted pharmaceuticals. more»

Online Drug Traffic and Registrar Policy

Last month I published an article called "What's Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic" which explained how the many of the troublesome online crime issues are related to the online sale of narcotics and dodgy pharmaceuticals. Since this article was published we have witnessed one of the largest international law enforcement efforts against online drug traffic (Operation Pangea II)... more»

What's Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic

Spam is not about who sent it, it's about who benefits from it. For a moment forget everything you know about filters, zombie PCs, firewalls, spoofing, viruses, beisyan algorithms, header forgery, botnets, or blacklists. These are all methods for sending spam or preventing spam delivery. None of these explain why spam is sent and for far too long all the attention has been paid to the effects and not the driving force. Under the endless onslaught of junk mail it is easy to feel that the goal of the game is send spam and annoy us all. more»

Topic Interests

SecurityPolicy & RegulationWebCyberattackCybercrimeMalwareWhoisInternet GovernanceRegistry ServicesDNSDomain NamesCybersquattingICANNSpamLawTop-Level DomainsAccess ProvidersEmailPrivacyTelecomNet NeutralityCensorshipInternet ProtocolIP AddressingDNS SecurityRegional RegistriesMobileDDoS

Recent Comments

Rape in the DNS
Rape in the DNS

Popular Posts

Internet Drug Traffic, Service Providers and Intellectual Property

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid