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AFNIC and DNS Server Redelegation

As an American, I could go for the ignorant stereotyping of the French. But being the good global citizen I try to be, I'll just see if someone can tell me if I'm missing something here, or if indeed AFNIC has lost its mind. I recently requested for one of my .FR domains to be delegated to new DNS servers. I got everything set up at my new DNS provider. But, AFNIC won't perform the transfer because of the following "fatal" reason... more

Sorry, Not Sorry: WHOIS Data Must Remain Public

In March, I posted a call to action to those of us in the community who have the inclination to fight against a movement to redact information critical to anti-abuse research. Today, I felt compelled to react to some of the discussions on the ICANN discussion list dedicated to the issue of WHOIS reform: Sorry, not sorry: I work every working hour of the day to protect literally hundreds of millions of users from privacy violating spam, phish, malware, and support scams. more

An Attack on DNS is an Attack on the Internet

On Saturday Aug 7th, DNS provider DNS Made Easy was the target of a very large denial of service attack. As far as can be determined the total traffic volume exceeded 40 Gigabit/second, enough to saturate 1 million dialup Internet lines. Several of DNS Made Easy's upstream providers had saturated backbone links themselves. There are indications that not only DNS Made Easy suffered from this attack, but the Internet as a whole. more

.MS: Alternate Root and Monoculture as Good Things

Why shouldn't there be a .gadi TLD? Why not one for Microsoft? This post is not about alternate roots or why they are bad, this post is about something else. We do need to go over some background (from my perspective) very quickly though. ICANN has a steel-fist control over what happens in the DNS realm. They decide what is allowed, and who gets money from it. Whether it's VeriSign for .com or any registrar for the domains they sell. They decide if .gadi should exist or not. ...What I am here to discuss is why Microsoft, as a non-arbitrary choice this time, indeed, of all the world, should kick it aside, creating an alternate root while at the same time not disturbing the world's DNS. more

EFF on Goodmail: Further Confusing an Already Confused Issue

Cindy's piece on the EFF website seems to be a bit of a pastiche, with elements taken out of various articles (some outright wrong, some merely misinformed) that have been doing the rounds of the media for quite a while now about Goodmail. She started off comparing AOL and Goodmail with the old email hoax about congress taxing email. That same line was used in a CircleID post by Matt Blumberg, CEO & Chairman of Returnpath... Various other quotes from different places - Richard Cox from Spamhaus on CNN for example. However a lot of the quotes in those articles are being based on wrong or out of context assumptions, starting with one that goes "AOL is going to remove all its existing whitelists and force people to use Goodmail". more

Abusive Anti-Anti-Spam Scheme a Dreadful Strategy

A new company called Blue Security purports to have an innovative approach to getting rid of spam. I don't think much of it. As I said to an Associated Press reporter: "It's the worst kind of vigilante approach," said John Levine, a board member with the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail. "Deliberate attacks against people's Web sites are illegal." more

Spam Fighting: Lessons from Jack Bauer?

As I blogged about several months ago, as did numerous other anti-spam bloggers, David Ritz was sued by Jeffrey Reynolds and a judge in North Dakota agreed with Reynolds. At the heart of the case was that Ritz engaged in anti-spam activities using techniques known only to a small subset of advanced computer users, and used these techniques maliciously against Reynolds... Back in the olden days of spam fighting, some anti-spammers used to use malicious techniques against spammers in order to shut them down... more

An Internet Security Operations Viewpoint of IGF

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an annual UN conference on Internet governance which was held this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The topics discussed range from human rights online to providing Internet access in developing countries. A somewhat secondary topic of conversation is Internet security and cyber-crime mostly limited to policy and legislative efforts. Techies and Internet security industry don't have much to do there, but I have a few updates for us from the conference. more

The Problem With Wikis

Wikis have been around for a long time on the Web. It's taken a while for them to transform from geek tool to a mainstream word, but we're here now. Last week at the ICANN Meeting in Vancouver, it was fun to watch hundreds of people get introduced to Wikis and start using them, thanks to Ray King's ICANN Wiki project. In the past few days since, I've come to believe that Wikis are doomed unless they start thinking about security in a more serious way. more

Searching Under Lampposts with DKIM

Email is a complex service and email abuse adds confusing deceptions. Worse, like postal mail and even telephone service, Internet mail is inherently open, flexible and even anonymous, making things much easier for abusers. Bad actors hide their true identity and their true purpose. Most other communication tools for users also are also quite open, and problems with email are being replicated elsewhere, such as instant messaging and social media. more

The Sad State of WHOIS, and Why Criminals Love It

I'm not even sure how to begin this post, but let me tell you -- my head explodes when I try to contact WHOIS "contacts" about criminal activity - FAIL. I think ICANN wants to do the right thing here, and has stated on multiple occasions that inaccurate WHOIS data is reason for registrar termination. That's a Good Thing... more

Fight Phishing With Branding

Phishing, stealing personal information by impersonating a trusted organization, is a big problem that's not going away. Most antiphishing techniques to date have attempted to recognize fake e-mail and fake web sites, but this hasn't been particularly effective. A more promising approach is to brand the real mail and real web sites. more

Challenges in Anti-Spam Efforts

Without commenting on the particulars as they relate to Goodmail -- especially since I am on the advisory board for Habeas, a competitor -- let me note that public discussion is largely missing the nature of the current Internet mail realities and the nature of the ways we can deal with them. There are two articles in the current issue of the Internet Protocol Journal, of which I wrote one, that provide some useful background about this reality. Simply put, Internet mail needs to sustain spontaneous communications... more

Phish-Proofing URLs in Email?

For those who've been living in an e-mail free cave for the past year, phishing has become a huge problem for banks. Every day I get dozens of urgent messages from a wide variety of banks telling me that I'd better confirm my account info pronto. ...Several people have been floating proposals to extend authentication schemes to the URLs in a mail message. A sender might declare that all of links in it are to its own domain, e.g., if the sender is bigbank.com, all of the links have to be to bigbank.com or maybe www.bigbank.com. Current path authentication schemes don't handle this, but it wouldn't be too hard to retrofit into SPF. ...So the question is, is it worth the effort to make all of the senders and URLs match up? more

Can We Stop IP Spoofing? A New Whitepaper Explores the Issues

In March 2013, Spamhaus was hit by a significant DDoS attack that made its services unavailable. The attack traffic reportedly peaked at 300Gbps with hundreds of millions of packets hitting network equipment on their way. In Q1 2015, Arbor Networks reported a 334Gbps attack targeting a network operator Asia. In the same quarter they also saw 25 attacks larger than 100Gbps globally. What is really frightening about this is that such attacks were relatively easy to mount. more

Industry Updates

A Deep Dive into Known Magecart IoCs: What Are the Connected Internet Properties?

COVID-19-Related Bulk Domain Registrations: A Possible Case of DNS Abuse?

Protecting Intellectual Property Protects Consumers

"Voltswagen": April Fool's Prank, Brand Turmoil, and Bulk Domain Registrations

What Are the Common Forms of Bulk Domain & Typosquatting Registrations?

We Detected and Analyzed Thousands of CCTV-, Firewall-, and SCADA-themed Domains & Subdomains

How Reverse IP Lookup API Can Help Detect Connected Domains

Come April, Nothing Is Certain Except Phishing and Taxes

Expanding the List of Artifacts for the Recent JPMorgan Chase Squatting Campaign

An In-Depth Look at the Risks Kozow.com Subdomains May Pose to Internet Users

How Do You Choose the Best Threat Intelligence Platform for Your Company?

Keeping Track of Ramnit through Artifact Expansion

A List of Potential Attack Artifacts for the Top 3 Phished Brands in 2020

A Look at Recent Attacks on K-12 Distance Learning Providers Using Domain Intelligence

SolarWinds Cyber Intel Analysis Part 2: A Look at Additional CISA-Published IoCs