Cybercrime

Cybercrime / Most Commented

Oh, Spammer, Where Art Thou?

A few weeks ago, I posted a piece on where individuals spammers were located in terms of sending IP. The United States was number 1, followed by China. This is in terms of total volume of spam that they send. However, a second piece of data that I did not take a look at was where all of the individual spam sites contained within the spam was located. For example, does a lot of spam sent from the United States point to spammy URLs hosted in China? more

Domain Name Registries Must Do More to Protect Highly-Trafficked Domains

With the recent attacks against high-profile New Zealand domain names including Coca-Cola.co.nz and F-Secure.co.nz, fingers are naturally pointing to Domainz, the registrar of record for these domains, as the party responsible for this lapse in security. While domain name registrars certainly need to ensure the security and stability of their systems, domain name registries must also step up and take responsibility for mitigating risks posed by hackers... more

A Few Thoughts on the Future of Email Authentication

With the Online Trust Alliance Town Hall Meeting and Email Authentication Roundtable next week as well as the RSA Conference, I decided to pause and think about where we are and where we might be headed with regard to email authentication. Over the years, many of us have collectively worked to provide a framework for authenticating email... more

Law Requiring Sex Offenders to Hand Over All Internet Passwords Going Too Far?

Maybe you've seen one of the news stories about the revised Georgia statute (Georgia Code ยง 41-1-12) that now requires sex offenders to turn their Internet passwords, screen names and email addresses over to authorities. The purpose of the revised statute is to give authorities the ability to track what sex offenders are doing online, to, in the words of one news story, "make sure" they "aren't stalking children online or chatting with them about off-limits topics." more

Facebook Wins $800M Against Spammer. So What?

In a widely reported court case, Facebook won an $800M default judgment and injunction against a Montreal man named Adam Guerbuez, who has a long and sordid history. But it probably won't make any difference. The problem is that he's in Canada. more

How Can ICANN Improve Institutional Confidence?

This week ICANN held a public consultation in Washington, D.C., where ICANN's President's Strategy Committee (PSC) solicited remarks from a packed audience of intellectual property (IP) lawyers, domain name registrars and other Internet stakeholders on how the organization can improve institutional confidence. No surprise, ICANN's decision to add new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to the Internet was on many participants' minds. more

Possible First Attacks on DNS Flaw Have Been Reported

The existence of the DNS flaw was revealed earlier this month by security researcher Dan Kaminsky and the code that could act as a blueprint for an attack via the flaw was published last week by Metasploit. On Friday, a user named James Kosin posted an excerpt from a server log to a Fedora Linux mailing list, claiming it proved attacks based on the DNS flaw had begun. Kosin post reads... more

Do We Need Two Internets?

Jonathan Zittrain's recent book, The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It, has spurred a lot of discussion both online and offline, with blog posts lauding his insights or criticising his over-apocalyptic imagination. The book itself makes fascinating reading for those who have watched the network grow from its roots in the research community into today's global channel for communications, commerce and cultural expression... One of the reasons that Zittrain puts forward for the growing popularity of closed or, as he prefers 'tethered', devices, is that they are less vulnerable to hacking, security flaws, malware and all the other perils that face any internet-enabled system. more

Are Botnets Run by Spy Agencies?

A recent story today about discussions for an official defense Botnet in the USA prompted me to post a question I've been asking for the last year. Are some of the world's botnets secretly run by intelligence agencies, and if not, why not? Some estimates suggest that up to 1/3 of PCs are secretly part of a botnet. The main use of botnets is sending spam, but they are also used for DDOS extortion attacks and presumably other nasty things like identity theft. But consider this... more

Short Domain Names Threatened by Proposed Policy on IGO Dispute Resolution Procedure

ICANN staff has published a draft report on dispute resolution procedures for IGO (inter-governmental organization) domain names. This proposal has deep flaws and should be rejected by the community, as it does not have the balance and protection of registrant rights present in the existing UDRP. Initially, the proposed policy would apply to new Top-Level Domains (TLDs), but via a Policy Development Process (PDP) it could be extended to existing TLDs. more

Temporary Restraining Order Issued Against Domainer's Use of "mylennar.com"

Companies sometimes find that opportunistic purchasers of domain names (often referred to as "domainers"), will purchase a domain name quite similar to that of the company, and establish a site at the URL loaded with revenue-generating sponsored ads. To accomplish these purposes, domainers seem to prefer the services of companies like HitFarm and Domain Sponsor. A web user types in the confusingly similar URL and is bombarded with pop-up ads and sponsored links to goods and services, often competitive to the company whose name or trademark is being appropriated in the URL... more

UDRP Good for Trademark Protection, Not So Good for Political Process

Social Science Research Network has published a paper examining "the large gaps and inconsistencies in current domain name law and policy" as compared with domain name use in the political context. The paper suggests that the current domain name policy is focused on protecting trademark uses of domain names against bad faith commercial 'cybersquatters' but does not deal with protecting use of domain names as part of the political process. more

Why I Voted for .XXX

The ICANN Board voted today 9-5, with Paul Twomey abstaining, to reject a proposal to open .xxx. This is my statement in connection with that vote. I found the resolution adopted by the Board (rejecting xxx) both weak and unprincipled... I am troubled by the path the Board has followed on this issue since I joined the Board in December of 2005. I would like to make two points. First, ICANN only creates problems for itself when it acts in an ad hoc fashion in response to political pressures. Second, ICANN should take itself seriously as a private governance institution with a limited mandate and should resist efforts by governments to veto what it does. more

An Alternative to .XXX: IANA Adult Port Assignments

As an alternative to the creation of the .XXX TLD, ICANN/IANA can assign special port numbers that can be used to label adult content. IANA assigns port numbers as part of its duties. For example, port 80 is reserved for the HTTP protocol (i.e. the World Wide Web). Port 443 is reserved for the HTTPS protocol (SSL-secure version of HTTP). Port 23 is for Telnet, port 25 is for SMTP, and so on. One can see the full list at here... In a real sense, the IANA port assignments are just suggestions to the world as to what to expect on certain ports, whether it be a mail server, WHOIS, FTP, POP email or any other service/protocol. more

Internet Economics

One year ago, in late 2017, much of the policy debate in the telecommunications sector was raised to a fever pitch over the vexed on-again off-again question of Net Neutrality in the United States. It seemed as it the process of determination of national communications policy had become a spectator sport, replete with commentators who lauded our champions and demonized their opponents. more