Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting / Recently Commented

Is ICANN's .IR Response at Odds with the ACPA and ICE Domain Seizures?

An initial review of ICANN's response to litigation seeking it to turn over control of the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria and North Korea led to the conclusion that it had opened a "legal can of worms". A few more just wriggled out, and they threaten the basic assumption that underlies the U.S. statute governing cybersquatting and the practices engaged in by Federal officials seizing domain names engaged in intellectual property infringement. more»

UDRP Failure Endangers Consumers

Yesterday I participated in a panel at the International Consumer Product Safety Conference sponsored by the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held at the European Commission in Brussels Belgium. This conference brings together the global community of product safety engineers, manufacturers, retailers, regulators, inspectors, and counterfeiting investigators. The role of online fraud and illicit product traffic is clearly one of the conference priorities. more»

ICANN's Uniform Rapid Suspension: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

With so many new gTLDs moving into their respective general availability periods, and incidents of cybersquatting beginning to appear, many companies are now looking towards the URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension) as a possible solution for quickly remediating abuse. As a reminder, domains that are the subject of a successful URS ruling are suspended for the remainder of the registration term, or can be renewed for an additional year at the current registrar. more»

ICANN and Your Internet Abuse

In spite of the material we were presented with in Durban something has gone very wrong inside of ICANN Compliance. KnujOn has published a report which demonstrates that ICANN Compliance appears to completely collapse between September 2012 and December 2012. Following December 2012, ICANN seems to stop responding to or processing any complaints. It is around this time certain compliance employees start disappearing. This was not limited to the Sydney office as some would have us believe... more»

ICANN Opens GNSO Whois Study on Privacy/Proxy Abuse for Comment

ICANN has opened the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Whois study on privacy/proxy abuse for public comment. Performed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), this study is one of many commissioned by the GNSO to examine the current, disparate, and often maligned registration directory service, and aims to measure the hypothesis that "a significant percentage of the domain names used to conduct illegal or harmful Internet activities are registered via privacy and proxy services to obscure the perpetrator's identity." more»

Wow. That's a Lot of Reserved Names

ICANN recently updated the list of reserved second level domain names. Those are names that you won't be able to register in any of the 1500 or so new domains they're planning to add. There's rather a lot of them, currently 629. The names are in three groups, the ICRC (the Red Cross), the IOC (the Olympic games) and everyone else. Several years ago the Red Cross and later the Olympics came to ICANN and insisted that they make a special list of forbidden names, separate from the various trademark registries. more»

More than 85% of Top 500 Most Highly-Trafficked Websites Vulnerable

Over the last 5 years, hacktivists have continued the practice of redirecting well-known domain names to politically motivated websites utilizing tactics such as SQL injection attacks and social engineering schemes to gain access to domain management accounts -- and that, in and of itself, is not surprising. But what IS surprising is the fact that less than 15% of the 500 most highly trafficked domains in the world are utilizing Registry Locking. more»

Why Trademark Owners Should Think Twice Before Reclaiming Domains

A recent kerfuffle around Italian chocolate and confectionery producer Ferrero SpA and fan Sara Rosso is the latest example of how important it is for companies to consider carefully the domain and user names they decided to reclaim. Sometimes, enforcing trademark rights online can go really wrong, really quickly. In 2007, Ms. Rosso chose February 5 to be "World Nutella Day" - a time when "Nutella Lovers Unite for One Day!" She built a web presence around Nutella Day that included a nutelladay.com website. 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»

2011 UDRP Filings Up at WIPO, Down at NAF - And Still Infinitesimal

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently issued a detailed press release regarding Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) cases for which it provided arbitration services in 2011 and, once again, the number of WIPO filings was up. According to WIPO: "In 2011, trademark holders filed a record 2,764 cybersquatting cases covering 4,781 domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), an increase of 2.5% and 9.4% over the previous highest levels in 2010 and 2009, respectively." Yet that's an incomplete picture. more»

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

In our continuing review of Rogue Registrars we have stumbled upon on a very elaborate fake banking site for "Swiss Bank" or "Bank of Switzerland". To the casual Internet consumer this site probably appears legitimate, but a number of clues tip off the fraud. Phishing sites are everywhere so this does not immediately raise eyebrows until you review the Thick WHOIS record for the domain. more»

ICANN and the Red Cross: An Exceptional Exception

ICANN's policy on the special protection of the Red Cross and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) names has triggered a very lively discussion including contributions by Konstantinos Komatis, Milton Muller, Wolfgang Kleinw├Ąchter, and myself (with Avri Doria's reply). There is an agreement that the exceptions are dangerous for ICANN's gTLD policy process which is in a formative and delicate phase. more»

Trademarks Tango in Cyber Ballrooms

The global trademark laws have served the business community well during the last century. But is it possible that with the advent of ICANN gTLD, a new layer of speed and protection would complement the trademark holders to further establish their name identity presence and visibility in the complex marketplace? Although the trademark laws have served the business community very well during the last century, now with the advent of ICANN gTLD platform, it appears that it will provide an additional layer of speedy protection and increase the name identity visibility resulting in market domination via name identity. more»

ICANN Pressured to Reserve Names: "We don't accept any more reservations!"

It is not a secret that I have been (and I continue to be) against the requests made to ICANN by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Red Cross for special protection of their names and their variations. I am mainly against it because of the problems associated with these types of protection, the potential implications they may have and the fact that any attempt to reserve any names in the Domain Name Space will set a very bad precedent that will be detrimental to the whole new gTLDs experience. Well, the effect of this precedent is right upon us... more»

Typosquatted Domain Names Pose Plenty of Risk But Surprisingly Little Malware

A recent study took an in-depth look at the scale and the risk of domain name typosquatting -- the practice of registering mis-spellings of popular domain names in an attempt to profit from typing mistakes. "Applying every possible one-character typo to the domain names of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Sophos," Paul Ducklin, Sophos' Asia Pacific head of technology collected HTTP data and browser screenshots from 1502 web sites and 14,495 URLs. In this report, Ducklin analyses the data revealing unexpected results within the typosquatting ecosystem. more»