Cybercrime

Cybercrime / Most Commented

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

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

WIPO Crowing Again About "Cybersquatting"

Most of us would be put off if a court issued a press release cheering the number of prisoners its judges had put behind bars or the number of tenants it had helped landlords to evict. That seems antithetical to the neutral adjudication of disputes, and ethical rules regularly decry such "appearance of bias." Yet WIPO seems to think it perfectly natural to crow about its arbitrators' favoritism for complainants against "cybersquatters" in UDRP proceedings. It issued a release that reads like a solicitation for trademark claimants' business, not a promotion of neutral arbitration services... more

What's Wrong with Domain Names?

Despite the significant traffic that comes from typed-in domain names, the public harumphing and clucking about type-in traffic is climbing in volume as it becomes clear how much money is involved. Articles this week show that domain names, and the people who make money on them, are making some commentators uncomfortable. more

Time to Play Offense

The United States is under cyber-attack. An article in Time magazine titled "The Invasion of the Chinese Cyberspies" discusses a computer-network security official for Sandia National Laboratories who had been "tirelessly pursuing a group of suspected Chinese cyberspies all over the world." The article notes that the cyberespionage ring, known to US investigators as Titan Rain, has been "penetrating secure computer networks at the country's most sensitive military bases, defense contractors and aerospace companies." more

Thoughts About "Protection Against BIND"

Imagine my surprise upon reading a BBC article which identified ISC BIND as the top security vulnerability to UNIX systems. At ISC, we have striven for a decade to repair BIND's reputation, and by all accounts we have made great progress. "What could this be about," I wondered, as I scanned the BBC article for more details. It turns out that BBC was merely parroting what it had been told by SANS. OK, let's see what SANS has to say... more

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