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Microsoft to Hunt Down Typo-Squatters Using URL Tracer

Microsoft Research has released a new tool to help pinpoint large-scale typo-squatters that are known to be gaming pay-per-click domain parking services.

The lightweight prototype, called Strider URL Tracer, builds on the work within Microsoft's Cybersecurity and Systems Management group to keep tabs on a sophisticated typo-squatting scheme that uses multilayer URL redirection to make money from Google's AdSense for domains program. more

University Researchers Heighten Focus on VoIP Security Threats

With VoIP starting to live up to some of the hype, university researchers are looking to ensure that the technology's momentum in corporate and residential markets won't be ruined by myriad security threats.

The National Science Foundation this week said it has issued $600,000 to the University of North Texas to spearhead development of a multi-university test bed to study VoIP security. Other participants are Columbia University, Purdue University and the University of California-Davis. more

Europeans Rush to Get '.eu' Domain Names

Some 300,000 Europeans rushed to register their new ".eu" domain names in the first hour of being able to sign up for the new Internet addresses, officials said Friday.

By midday, registrations had exceeded 550,000. Until Friday, registration was limited to specific groups, such as registered trademark owners, public bodies and companies. Now, anyone who resides in the 25-nation European Union can buy a name on a first-come, first-served basis. more

Report on Why Phishing Works Despite Warnings

Three U.S. academics have published research into why phishing scams are still finding success, years after widespread public warnings first appeared.

Most people have received an e-mail purporting to be from a bank or other online service that asks for personal and financial details. Occasionally, it has been for a bank or service for which the recipient is a customer. Even in that situation, many people still know to be wary. more

Geographic Domain Name Owners Attend 2006 GeoDomain Expo

Associated Cities has announced that owners of geographic domain names will gather in Chicago on June 2 and 3 at the 2006 GeoDomain Expo.

Confirmed participants include NewYorkCity.com, LosAngeles.com, Chicago.com, Richmond.com, Dallas.com, SanFrancisco.com, Nashville.com, SanDiego.com, Houston.com, PalmSprings.com, Atlanta.com, Acapulco.com, Barcelona.com, Toronto.com, Vancouver.com and BuenosAires.com.

"GeoDomains are in the right place at the right time and their future looks very bright," said Borrell, the past president of the Newspaper Association of America's New Media Federation.  more

MIT Spam Conference on Phishing as the Worst Spam Problem

At the fourth annual MIT Spam Conference held in Boston Tuesday, speakers said that while the volume of spam ebbs and flows, the nature of unwanted email is steadily becoming more dangerous...

Fresh from an IETF meeting last week, Sendmail's Chief Science Officer Eric Allman spoke about the progress being made with DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), a sender-authentication proposal from Yahoo and Cisco that's wending its way through the standards body, and how it can be used to fight phishing. more

Antispam Confab Looks Beyond Filters

The fight against spam, phishing and e-mail fraud should focus on economic incentives and aiding law enforcement, according to attendees at a conference examining the problem this week.

Speakers at MIT's 2006 Spam Conference were notably cognizant of the recent proposals of white lists and AOL's Goodmail, a pay per e-mail service offering preferential treatment in e-mail delivery for marketers. It is also one year since the implementation of Can-Spam, the federal law that sets e-mail marketing standards and makes it less complicated for law enforcement to go after John Doe spammers. more

DNS Hackers Target Domain Registrars

Hackers have launched distributed denial of service attacks against the Domain Name System (DNS) servers of a brace of domain name registrars over recent days. The motive for the separate attacks against VeriSign and Joker.com remains unclear.

VeriSign said the attack on its name servers caused a "brief degradation" in the quality of its service to customers for around 25 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, ComputerWorld reports. Domain registrar Joker.com is recovering from an attack on its name servers last week that lasted for six days up until last Sunday. Joker.com, which is based in Germany, handles the registration of approximately 550,000 domains. more

New Code of Practice to Combat Spam

Australia has cracked down on junk mail with an industry code for tackling spam.

Under the new code, internet service providers (ISPs) will bear some of the responsibility for helping fight spam. Service providers must offer spam-filtering options to their subscribers and advise them on how to best deal with and report the nuisance mail. ISPs will also be compelled to impose "reasonable" limits on subscribers' sending email. more

Cybersquatters Try New Tactics: Soft Squatting

Cybersquatting the domain name of a celebrity and selling it for a king's ransom was one of the great get-rich-quick schemes of the early internet. But since courts now tend to favor the star over the squatter, a new kinder, gentler cybersquatting tactic has emerged.

These days, cybersquatters seek to register a star's domain before that person becomes famous, and then develop a business relationship with the new celebrity, offering website hosting or design work. These so-called soft squatters are registering the domains of hundreds of amateur athletes, musicians and other would-be stars in the hope that one or two of the names will become well-known. more

ICANN Tackles Future of Internet

Amid brewing controversies, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' 25th International meeting officially opened on Monday in Wellington, New Zealand. The meeting, which runs through March 31, brings together members from the technical community, business and government to discuss the management and future of the Internet.

But some members of ICANN have made it clear that they don't like the way the organization is conducting business, saying that ICANN is more concerned about wooing big business and government than serving ordinary Internet users. more

Who Owns the Internet? See This Map

What is this ball of colors? It is the North American Internet, or more specifically a map of just about every router on the North American backbone, (there are 134,855 of them for those who are counting). The colors represent who each router is registered to. Red is Verizon; blue AT&T; yellow Qwest; green is major backbone players like Level 3 and Sprint Nextel; black is the entire cable industry put together; and gray is everyone else, from small telecommunications companies to large international players who only have a small presence in the U.S. more

DNS Servers Do Hackers' Dirty Work

"DNS is now a major vector for DDOS," Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher said, referring to distributed denial-of-service attacks. "The bar has been lowered. People with fewer resources can now launch potentially crippling attacks."

Just as in any DDOS attack, the target system -- which could be a victim's Web server, name server or mail server -- is inundated with a multitude of data coming from multiple systems on the Internet. The goal is to make the target unreachable online by flooding the data connection or by crashing it as it tries to handle the incoming data.  more

IPv6 Reported to Lower Internet Users' Privacy

Billed as the next generation of the Internet, a new technical standard enthusiastically embraced by China will allow greater traceability of Internet users, potentially endangering those expressing views counter to the government's.

The standard, known as IPv6, solves technical problems faced by the Internet around the world, but Internet freedom advocates outside China warn that the internationally developed norm would also allow Beijing authorities -- or any government or company for that matter -- to have a better idea of what individuals are doing on the Internet. more

Coalition Recommends Tools to Combat Phishing

ISPs and e-commerce sites can employ more tools to combat phishing scams, including "white lists" of legitimate Websites and using false identification information to scam the scammers, according to a report released Thursday.

The report, released by a coalition of consumer groups, technology vendors, financial services organizations and law enforcement agencies, also calls on Internet companies to step up their consumer education efforts. more

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