Bulletproof hosting firm claims legitimacy

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Oct 17, 2007

Crime-laden Russian service threatens to sue detractors.

A notorious Russian firm offering 'bulletproof hosting' - website hosting services with a guarantee that sites will not be taken down if found to be serving up illegal content, spam, malware, phishing sites etc. - has claimed in a media interview that its services are entirely genuine and legal, and hinted at plans to take legal action against security firms who have criticised its behaviour.

After a report in the Washington Post described the activities of the firm as 'a world hub for websites devoted to child pornography, spamming and identity theft', a representative of the St Petersburg-based Russian Business Network (RBN) gave an in-depth interview to Wired magazine, complaining of a steady stream of criticism from, among others, iDefense and parent VeriSign, Symantec, SANS and SpamHaus.

The spokesman said that the company is considering legal action to remove its listing on the SpamHaus 'ROKSO' list of the most notorious spam operations, which describes the firm as 'continuously hosting child pornography, malware, phishing and cybercrime'.

The firm's services are expensive and mostly advertised by word-of-mouth among the cybercriminal underworld, according to security watchers. A Kaspersky Labs representative suggested that they are careful to avoid breaching any local laws, making it difficult for international agencies to persuade Russian law enforcement to intervene.

The Washington Post piece on RBN's activities is here, and the interview given to Wired is here. An earlier report on RBN, in The Economist, is here.

Posted on 17 October 2007 by Virus Bulletin



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