Cybercrime

Cybercrime / Most Commented

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

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

We Urgently Need a New Internet

Let's be honest about it. Nobody -- including those very clever people that were present at its birth -- had the slightest idea what impact the internet would have in only a few decades after its invention. The internet has now penetrated every single element of our society and of our economy, and if we look at how complex, varied and historically different our societies are, it is no wonder that we are running into serious problems with the current version of our internet. 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

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

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

Domain Registry Locking Program: It Is There for a Reason, So Why Not Use It?

At the beginning of last year, MarkMonitor participated in VeriSign's beta program to test server-level protections which were designed to mitigate the potential for unintended domain name changes, deletions and transfers. When VeriSign finally released their Registry Locking Program to all registrars, I expected to see the owners of highly trafficked sites flocking to this new offering. However, after a review of the top 300 most highly trafficked sites, I was shocked to uncover that less than 10% of these valuable domains were protected using these newly available security measures. more

June Court Decision Detrimental to Domaining Practices

In a June court ruling, domainer Navigation Catalyst and registrar Basic Fusion lost a cybersquatting lawsuit to Verizon... This is an extremely interesting and potentially precedent-setting case regarding domaining and domain name tasting. The court condemns both practices, leading to a preliminary injunction against the domainer and its registrar based on the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). As far as I can recall, this is the first time that a domainer has lost an ACPA lawsuit in court, and it provides an important data point confirming that domaining can be cybersquatting (a previously unresolved issue)... more

ICANN Investigating Domain Tasting

ICANN has announced that it is seeking input and feedback on the topic of domain tasting. (See their announcement for full details) Interestingly enough Michael Gilmour published an article a couple of days ago covering the same topic - "Why domain tasting is great!", which will probably raise a few hackles! One point that in particular caught my eye... more

CADNA Launches National Campaign Against Typosquatting

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., is confronting 'cybersquatting', or as defined in the report today, the fraudulent abuse of domain name registration that threatens the future viability of Internet commerce. From today's release: "To effectively combat cybersquatting, CADNA will work at the federal and international levels to make these fraudulent practices difficult to establish and unprofitable to maintain. Among the coalition's goals are to pursue congressional legislation that would increase the statutory damages set forth by the existing Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act..." more