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Microsoft Launches Court Actions Against Cybersquatters

Microsoft is launching a string of court actions in the United States and Europe against cybersquatters, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

"Cybersquatting is a growing problem for brands around the world and we hope to educate other brand holders and encourage them to take action," Aaron Kornblum, a senior Microsoft lawyer, told the business daily. more

Cybersquatting Cases Rose 25 Percent Last Year, Says WIPO

The U.N. copyright agency (World Intellectual Property Organization) that arbitrates more than half the world's "cybersquatting" cases saw a 25 percent increase in complaints last year. WIPO received 1,823 complaints in 2006 alleging abusive registrations of trademarks as Internet domain names. more

ICANN Releases DNS Attack Factsheet Concerning Recent Attacks

ICANN has released a factsheet concerning the recent attack on the root server system on 6 February 2007. The factsheet is intended to provide an explanation of the attack for a non-technical audience and hopes to enlarge public understanding surrounding this and related issues.

Aside from covering the attack itself and the engineers' response to it, the factsheet also briefly reviews the root server system, the domain name system, Anycast technology, and what can be done in order to deal with such attacks in future. The fact sheet can be downloaded here [PDF]. more

Cybersquatting and Geopolitics Heats Up

Cybersquatting is so 2000, or so we thought. The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) at WIPO has been chugging along for several years now, methodically determining if complainants IP rights have been violated and reassigning "ownership" of domain names. Typically, the cases are fairly boring. But some recent developments in the world of 800 lb search gorillas, Google and Baidu, suggests that the regime could be faced with substantial pressure in the near future. more

Anti-DNS Google Desktop Attack Reported

Google's PC search software is vulnerable to a variation on a little-known Web-based attack called anti-DNS (Domain Name System) pinning, that could give an attacker access to any data indexed by Google Desktop, security researchers said this week.

...Anti-DNS pinning is an emerging area of security research, understood by just a handful of researchers, said Jeremiah Grossman, chief technical officer at WhiteHat Security. more

Researchers Say Attackers Can Hit Home Routers

If you haven't changed the default password on your home router, do so now. That's what researchers at Symantec and Indiana University are saying, after publishing the results of tests that show how attackers could take over your home router using malicious JavaScript code.

...In tests, the researchers were able to do things like change firmware and redirect a D-Link Systems DI-524 wireless router to look up websites from a DNS server of their choosing. more

Phishing Attacks Surpass Viruses and Trojans

Phishing attacks have outnumbered emails infected with viruses and Trojan horse programs for the first time, according to security experts.

...The difference in the ratio of phishing to virus attacks is partly due to virus attacks becoming more targeted and no longer occurring as one large outbreak. This includes the recent Storm Worm and Warezov attacks, according to MessageLabs. more

Top Domain Name News Stories of 2006

Record-breaking domain sales, acquisitions, and growing industry credibility all highlight a critical year for the domain name industry. The domain name industry had a heck of a year. It's impossible to rank the top news stories of 2006, but I'm going to make an attempt... Let's talk about it before the end of the year; then let's look forward to a fantastic 2007. more

Domain Name Arbitration Disputes on Rise

Internet domain name arbitration disputes have risen by more than a quarter since January 2005 -- despite the expansion of generic top-level domain addresses like .biz and .info -- as cybersquatters find more sophisticated ways of encroaching on legitimate Web sites.

...Typosquatting, a form of cybersquatting that involves capturing another company's Web traffic by registering misspelled versions of a well-known Internet site or brand name, is driving much of the growth in domain-name disputes, according to intellectual property lawyers. more

Microsoft Launches New Offensive Against Cybersquatters

Microsoft on Tuesday launched a new offensive against cybersquatters who allegedly gain illegal profits from thousands of Web sites, such as WindowsLiveTutorial.com and HaloChamp.com, that include the company's trademarked names.

Redmond filed three lawsuits in federal court this week claiming that some Web site operators have registered and operate hundreds of domain names with the sole purpose of reaping "bad faith" profits and in violation of federal and state laws. more

Europe Must Reboot its Fledgling .EU Domain Name

Europe must reboot its fledgling domain name to avoid a system crash, critics say, after alleged missteps allowed cybersquatters to stockpile trademarks for auction.

...Diana Wallis, a British liberal European Parliament member on the body's legal affairs committee, has asked the Commission to give a "full explanation of how the .eu domain allocation has been handled."

"If the scale of the abuse is anything like what appears to have taken place, this will represent a major EU scandal and commissioners will need to be brought to account," she said. more

In Rem Domain Name Proceeding: Sometimes "may" Means "must"

Investools, Inc. recently filed an in rem domain name proceeding against a Canadian entity that registered the domain names investtools.com and investtool.com. In rem domain name proceedings are provided for under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA"), 15 U.S.C. 1125(d), and are a handy way for a trademark owner to acquire a domain name from a cybersquatter when the cybersquatter can't be found e.g., is located outside the U.S. ...The ACPA requires that a plaintiff demonstrate four things to establish in rem jurisdiction over a domain name... more

Phishing: Competing on Security

The UK today is one of the main attack targets by phishing organized crime groups, globally. Phishing damages will amount to about two billions USD in 2006 worldwide -- not counting risk management measures such as preventative measures, counter-measures, incident response and PR damages. In most cases, phishing is caused by the fault of the users, either by entering the wrong web page, not keeping their computers secure or falling for cheap scams. Often this is due to lack of awareness or ability in the realm of Internet use rather than incompetence by the users... more

Mitigating Spoofed Attacks Using IPv6 Address Space

Timothy D. Morgan's recent paper titled, "IPv6 Address Cookies", seeks to apply the fundamental shift in resource availability brought about by the vastly increased Internet address space in IPv6 to develop a novel, lower cost solution to mitigating spoofed attacks. "Spoofed denial of service attacks have plagued the Internet for a number of years, and show no signs of abating. Research into mitigation techniques has apparently not led to a financially viable solution, and new attacks have been discovered in the wild without being widely anticipated". The following provides an introduction to this paper. more

Security Experts Warn VoIP Attacks May Be Just Around the Corner

It's become a familiar pattern in online security. A groundbreaking way to communicate emerges, spreads like wildfire, and then hackers find a way to use it to their advantage. Security companies react--but not before the problem has succeeded in wreaking havoc. It happened with e-mail and is happening now with instant messaging and mobile devices.

The next area that could be targeted: Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, which lets people make low-priced phone calls using the same technology that delivers e-mail. And the results could be just as damaging, if not worse, than with other technologies, some security experts warn.  more