No taste for spam?

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 1, 2008

ICANN takes steps to combat domain tasting.

The practice of domain tasting, often used by spammers and other shady types to register tens of thousands of Internet domain names at no cost, looks set to end thanks to a new ICANN ruling.

ICANN charges a fee of 20 cents per domain name per year, but under its current rules a domain owner is able to 'return' the domain name within five days for a full refund (allowing legitimate registrants a grace period to rectify any mistakes that they may have made in their registration). This means that spammers and scammers have been able to register tens of thousands of domains for no cost - allowing spammers to hide their identity, and assisting search-engine spammers in their quest to hijack search engine rankings.

At the end of last month, however, the ICANN board voted to make the 20-cent fee non-refundable. While 20 cents may seem like small pennies, when multiplied by the tens of thousands of domains being registered by spammers on a regular basis it is likely to prove sufficiently costly to make the practice unprofitable.

Shortly before the ICANN ruling, Google also took a step towards curtailing the practice of domain tasting. The search engine and advertising giant announced that it would start looking out for domains that are repeatedly registered and dropped and exclude them from its AdSense program - thus preventing scammers from generating advertising revenue from them.

It is not clear when the change to the ICANN 20-cent fee will take effect, but industry watchers believe it could be within the next month.

Posted on 01 February 2008 by Virus Bulletin



Latest posts:

VB2019 paper: APT cases exploiting vulnerabilities in region-specific software

At VB2019, JPCERT/CC's Shusei Tomonaga and Tomoaki Tani presented a paper on attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in software used only in Japan, using malware that is unique to Japan. Today we publish both their paper and the recording of their…

New paper: Detection of vulnerabilities in web applications by validating parameter integrity and data flow graphs

In a follow-up to a paper presented at VB2019, Prismo Systems researchers Abhishek Singh and Ramesh Mani detail algorithms that can be used to detect SQL injection in stored procedures, persistent cross-site scripting (XSS), and server‑side request…

VB2020 programme announced

VB is pleased to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2020, the 30th Virus Bulletin International Conference.

VB2019 paper: Cyber espionage in the Middle East: unravelling OSX.WindTail

At VB2019 in London, Jamf's Patrick Wardle analysed the WindTail macOS malware used by the WindShift APT group, active in the Middle East. Today we publish both Patrick's paper and the recording of his presentation.

VB2019 paper: 2,000 reactions to a malware attack – accidental study

At VB2019 cybercrime journalist and researcher Adam Haertlé presented an analysis of almost 2000 unsolicited responses sent by victims of a malicious email campaign. Today we publish both his paper and the recording of his presentation.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.