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08|05|2009 06:00 am EDT

“No Evidence of Front Running” Says Internet Security Expert Following ICANN-Commissioned Study

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Legal Issues

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Front-Running has been a significant issue within the domain industry in the past – most notably with Network Solutions – however Benjamin Edelman, an Internet security expert, has exclaimed that he found “no evidence of current front running” following a ten-month study at ICANN’s request.

Edelman’s study involved testing 604 domains (304 .com, 200 .net, and 100 .info) on 200 domain registration and domain availability-checking websites to see whether front-running was taking place.

“My tests offer no evidence of front-running,” stated Edelman. “Not one of the domains I requested, in any of the three rounds of testing, was registered during the seven-day period during which availability was checked twice each day.”

Sadly, after looking through the official testing report, the study fails to deliver the evidence that most domainers would be looking for. Not only does it fail to mention any of the specific websites Edelman searched for, but it also excludes any mention of the registrars or whois services he searched at.

“My methodology cannot prove that front-running is not occuring or that front-running has not occured in the past,” concluded Edelman. “Rather, I have simply failed to find evidence of current front-running via the test scenario I used. It is possible that front-running occurs based on leads from web sites I did not test or based on data sources other than web sites (e.g. NXDOMAIN data from ISPs, navigation requests obtained from client-side software, etc). It is possible that front-running occurred at some point in the past. I cannot rule out these possibilities via the methodology used in this report.”

Yes…it is possible.

[via ICANN]

10|30|2008 02:51 pm EDT

Network Solutions Proactive in Fighting Recent Phishing Attack

by Adam Strong in Categories: Registrars

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Emails from NetworkSolutions to their client base reveal that Network Solutions is taking measures to alert and keep customers informed on the recent NSI phishing scam.  It appears as well that NSI is taking necessary defensive measures to combat any unauthorized access to customer domain names resulting from the phishing attempts.

The first email sent out informed customers to be aware of the phishing attempt :

Customers who have registered domain names through Network Solutions, as well as several other domain name providers are currently a target of a large scale phishing scam. A fraudster is sending e-mails to customers asking them to log in to renew or edit their domain name registration, and providing a link to a fraudulent site designed to look like networksolutions.com and to capture customer username and password information, or other private information. If you receive a message asking you to log in to your account, we recommend that you type www.networksolutions.com directly into your browser.

In a follow-up email NSI account reps let customers know that they are filtering out access and working to monitor customer log-in attempts.

1. We have put in place additional email filtering to block this traffic.
2. We have been and continue to very closely monitor and perform customer login analysis, to assist in determining if a customer account is suspect for nefarious logins/activity (for those unfortunate customers who trusted this phony email and followed the link to login).
3. Storefront and email messaging is being prepared to notify our customer base of the email phishing activity.

We advise any Customers who did follow these phony links to our Account Manager to immediately update their user id and password.

We want you to know that we are taking every possible measure to protect our Customers from this attack and mitigate its impact. We are working very closely with the Registries as well as ISPs to detect any new domains from which these attacks are coming and shut them down.

It’s good to see NSI working to tighten up security and keep customers informed of issues like this.

10|29|2008 09:19 pm EDT

WARNING: Network Solutions Phishing Scam

by Adam Strong in Categories: Miscellaneous

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Fast on the heels of the recent Enom phishing scam, another phishing attack attempting to con domain name registrants into providing their customer information is under way. Network Solutions (NSI) domain customers are the target this time.  The spam email messages being sent out warn the user of their domain expiring.  Current reports show that the domain name com42.asia is being used and disguises itself as a site that looks identical to NetworkSolutions.com.  As the public and internet providers become aware of the abuses, both the Enom and NSI phishing attackers are adapting to these reports by changing the domain name addresses they use.  See full phishing email after the link. (more…)