The ICANN in hot water, again
Some observers are starting to think that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) could potentially exist as a bureaucracy that enables cyber criminals. In one report, researchers Jart Armin, James McQuaid and Matt Jonkman detail how one of ICANN's prized sponsors has ties to one of the Internet's more prolific sources of malware and illegal online pharmacies.
It's called LogicBoxes, and since 2006, ICANN has listed it as a sponsor for meetings that took place in Los Angeles and New Delhi, India.
The report depicts how Atrivo -- a network provider that also goes by the name of Intercage-- works with a rogue's gallery of other companies to enable anonymous sites that try to distribute scareware and malware, and then of online sites trying to push Viagra.
Other companies include Hostfresh, EstHost, EstDomains and PrivacyProtect.
LogicBoxes actually has a business agreement with Atrivo.
According to the study, a random sampling of 2,600 addresses hosted by Atrivo revealed 7,340 malicious web links, 910 infected websites, 310 malicious binaries and 113 botnet command and control servers.
As an autonomous systems provider, the company controls a large number of IP addresses.
In an email sent Friday, Atrivo principal Emil Kacperski declined to comment.
A second report issued by an outfit known as Knujon (that's "no junk" spelled backwards) details 48 phantom domain name registrars whose sole purpose seems to be the registration of addresses used in spam and malware campaigns.
All of them can be linked back to the Directi Group, which has long been a prolific provider of URLs to spammers and malware botnets.
The forty-eight domain registrars are violating ICANN's very own rules requiring them to clearly identify their business name and business address.
That's something registrars are reluctant to do when they're spewing out sites as unpopular as these.
ICANN actually is the government-appointed group that accredits domain registrars. As of Friday afternoon, a spokesman for the group didn't return any calls for comment.
The Internet certainly is a big place to watch and monitor, and it isn't possible to know the reputation of every group ICANN accredits or takes money from. By the same token, it isn't unreasonable to expect the gatekeeper to enforce its own rules, especially given the proliferation of sites pushing spam, malware and other scams.
Additionally, while ICANN did nothing wrong accepting sponsorship money from LogicBoxes, it's fair to assume that the relationship doesn't look good, so long as LogicBoxes continues to keep company with the likes of Directi and Atrivo.
The next time you receive a spam e-mail or one of those annoying popups that claims your computer is infected, you may want to think of ICANN... (!)
Source: Tech Blog.
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