IDN Parody on verisign.com

By James Seng
James Seng

Guilllaume Rischard setup a parody on verisign.com using the IDN spoofing trick. He managed to get one registrar to register verisign.com with a cyrillic S (U+0405) (ie xn--veriign-mog.com :-)

This actually started in #joiito a couple of weeks ago after the Eric published the spoofing attack paper. A joke was made that it would be funny if someone did it to verisign.com and so he did.

I suppose I could rant why VeriSign should adopt the JET Guideline (or ICANN Guidelines) but this parody would send a louder message.

parody-verisign-small.jpg

Also check out Neustar website, the competitor to VeriSign.

Nevertheless, I am sure the folks in VeriSign will react to this quickly.

The first would obviously fixing their own registration rules - if a student in UK can do this, this isn't a good sign for them. Hopefully the fix will be consistent with the ICANN Guidelines :-) [btw, despite my rants against VeriSign, I actually like the people working for VeriSign - I still have friends (I hope) working there who are doing their best to do good things.]

The second is how to deal with the parody site - VeriSign isn't know to have a great sense of humor so I fear for my friend - I have taken the liberty to speak to Wendy from EFF just in case. IANAL but the only thing I could see VeriSign has a case on is the domain name itself (verisign.com) which is their trademark. The rest of the site have been made clear it is a parody - adapted from Neustar, who apparently has a great time laughing at the parody - or modified from Verisign in such a way no one would be 'reasonably' confused.

I suppose they could initiate a takedown notice under DMCA. But that would be interesting - how do you initiate a takedown notice on yourself :-)

They could get their army of lawyers to send threatening letters to Rischard to take it down - but that would only be PR disaster for them and would further attract more attention to the site.

Or alternatively, they could just send a polite email to Rischard to ask him to take it down - Rischard is doing this for a laugh, not looking for a fight so he might after all. 

By James Seng, Vice President. Visit the blog maintained by James Seng here.

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Registry Services

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