Cybercrime

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ICA Anti-Phishing Victory Might Be a Curse!

A triumph by the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) over tactics and legislation detrimental to domain name owners might end up being a case of winner's curse, a triumph bought at the expense of the industry. In picking this one battle to win, the association ignores a broader war, the range of issues our industry needs to address. more»

Attack Seriously Slows Two Internet Root Servers

Online attackers have briefly disrupted service on at least two of the 13 "root" servers that are used to direct traffic on the Internet.

The attack, which began Tuesday at about 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, was the most significant attack against the root servers since an October 2002 distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, said Ben Petro, senior vice president of services with Internet service provider Neustar Inc. more»

Cornucopia: A Radically Different Approach to TLDs

Much of the discussion about proposed TLDs centres around domain names as a form of classification: ".mobi" for mobile device content, ".kids" for child-safe content, language codes for language-specific content, ".museum" for museum-related entities, and so on. Notoriously little activity has been forthcoming in actually implementing these proposals, and the select few that have been allowed out into the world are, shall we say, a tad arbitrary. I'd like to engage in a little thought experiment where we abandon the "few TLDs with carefully chosen meanings" paradigm, and instead consider the benefits of a cornucopia of completely meaningless TLDs. 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»

Domain Registrars Releasing Suspended Domains to Attackers

Mary Landesman of ScanSafe reports: "A new outbreak of SQL attacks began on the 8th. Not that they ever really go away, but new waves replace the old ones. The attackers are using a much larger number of domains than seen in previous months. Just 11 days into June, and already 54 of these domains have been observed. Many of these are previously suspended domains that registrars have released back to the attackers. 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»

Breaking the Internet HOWTO: The Unintended Consequences of Governmental Actions

"Breaking the Internet" is really hard to do. The network of networks is decentralized, resilient and has no Single Point Of Failure. That was the paradigm of the first few decades of Internet history, and most people involved in Internet Governance still carry that model around in their heads. Unfortunately, that is changing and changing rapidly due to misguided government intervention. more»

How Do You Do Secure Bank Transactions on the Internet?

Banks love it when their customers do their transactions on line, since it is so much cheaper than when they use a bank-provided ATM, a phone call center, or, perish forbid, a live human teller. Customers like it too, since bank web sites are usually open 24/7, there's no line and no need to find a parking place. Unfortunately, crooks like on line banking too, since it offers the possibility of stealing lots of money. How can banks make their on line transactions more secure? more»

Another Attack, Another Reason for the Urgency of DNSSEC Adoption

News broke this week about an attack in Puerto Rico that caused the local websites of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Coca-Cola, PayPal, Nike, Dell and Nokia to be redirected for a few hours to a phony website. The website was all black except for a taunting message from the computer hacker responsible for the attack... more»

Where are DNS Root Servers? See them on Google Maps

DNS root servers function as part of the Internet backbone, as explained in Wikipedia, and have come under attack a number of times in the past -- although none of the attacks have ever been serious enough to severely hamper the performance of the Internet. In response to some of the common misconceptions about the physical location and total number of DNS root servers in the world, Patrik Faltstrom has put together a visual map on Google, pin-pointing the approximate location of each server around the world. more»

Domain Speculation: Attack of the TechnoPinkos

This morning I was forwarded a link to the Business2.0 article on domainer Kevin Ham about a half-dozen times and one sent the reddit comment thread on it (titled "This guy is a piece of s**t") and I had to chuckle and replied "I see Techno-Pinkos are out in full force". Some of the comments are just classicly clueless: "He's just a parasite. Someone gaming the system for their own financial ends without providing a useful service to anyone, and making it worse for many." ...Newsflash: Speculation is any time you choose one path, good or service over another in the hopes that you will do better... more»

What's in a Name?

Internet domain names are truly bizarre. There is nothing especially remarkable about them from a technical perspective, but from a social and political perspective they are all sorts of fun. We can have arguments over control of the DNS root, arguments over whether names are property, arguments over innate rights to specific names, arguments over a registrar's right (or lack thereof) to exploit unregistered names for private gain, and many more arguments besides. In this article, I'd like to explore the argument-space rather than defend any particular position in it. In so doing, I hope to illuminate some novel (or under-emphasised) perspectives on the matter. more»

dotMP Goes Mobile, Limits Access to WHOIS Data

The fact that the market for mobile phones that provide Internet access (aka "smart phones") is predicted to increase during the next several years, with global shipments growing to an impressive nearly 125 million units in 2009, means the competition for bridging mobile content and mobile phone use is likely to be keen. Indeed, dotMP already must face competition for registry services that will target mobile phone users. A few of the biggest names in information technology and mobile communications -- led by Nokia and including Microsoft, Vodafone, HP, Orange, Samsung and Sun Microsystems are planning to wedge into the Top-level Domain name space (TLD) by supporting a new TLD registry for mobile web content focused on web pages built specifically for access by mobile devices like smart phones and handheld computers or Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)... what may set dotMP apart from the technology giants led by Nokia, is a significant value added benefit to its domain name registration services...it will protect the privacy of its registrants.  more»

How Failure To Maintain IPv6 Is Hindering Law Enforcement

Recently, the FBI, DEA and even the Canadian Mounted Police have suggested that the switch to IPv6 is making it more difficult to track criminals online, those who would traffic in things such as drugs or child pornography, in addition to hackers, botnets, kidnappers and terrorists. Under IPv4, it wasn't very difficult to find offenders online via their IP addresses. The American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) would hand out the address and internet providers would log them into the public WHOIS database. more»

DNS Changer

One fine night in November 2011 I got an opportunity to get my hands dirty, working on a project for the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They were planning to seize a bunch of computing assets in New York City that were being used as part of a criminal empire that we called "DNS Changer" since that was the name of the software this gang used to infect a half million or so computers. more»