ICANN shuts down registrar that worked for spammers

ICANN, the organization that overlooks everything regarding domain name registrations, has sent a notice of termination to EstDomains. This Estionian domain name registrar is especially known because it is very popular with internet crooks. A reasonably large amount of domain names used for phishing or spam are registered through this Estonian registrar. While we can’t find any actual proof of this, and EstDomains itself has always denied this, insiders do talk about this registrar having a very close relationship with spammers and maybe even being involved in the spamming and hoax-sending itself.

By this termination, EstDomains will no longer be able to directly buy gTLD’s from the registries. Such gTLD’s are for example .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .asia,…
EstDomains is also an .eu accredited registrar. It isn’t clear yet if EURid itself will take action and also end its contract with EstDomains.

The reason for termination of the contract however doesn’t seem to be directly related to any spam-connections. The reason ICANN gives for the contract termination is a conviction of the president of EstDomains in Estonia for fraud, money laundering and forgery.

Whatever the reason is, it will probably cause the internet to become just a little bit safer. Over 275.000 domain names are involved.

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This post was written by Bart on October 30, 2008

Fake mails regarding “inaccurate whois information”

Lots of people are asking us questions regarding mails claiming their domain name is registered with falsified information. The mail asks for the data to be verified and/or corrected. And they make the threat to deactivate the domain name if the information isn’t corrected soon.

The e-mail looks like it was sent by “eNom”, but it’s actually a fraud. Even a relatively well designed one. The real e-mail that you would get if your domain name was as indeed registered using false information, would look very similar.

One of the most striking things which directly indicates that it is a forgery, is that the domain name that would be using false information, isn’t mentioned anywhere in the e-mail. A real message telling you that your Whois information is incorrect, would of course mention the domain name of which the information is disputed.

However, if you are in doubt, do forward the mail to us. We will look into it further.

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This post was written by Bart on October 30, 2008

Elections and domain names

If we may believe the polls, Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. The domain name market seems to follow the polls. There are much more names registered in which Obama’s name appears than names in which the name of McCain appears. So if it comes to registrations of new domain names Obama also seems more popular.

Some of the names were registred by the campaign teams of the candidates. Many other names are registred by political movements and merchandising sites. On other site you can see ironic and satirical sketches.

There are also many sites with violent, crash and sexually-related issues which have registered a name of candidate or running mate. Especially the names of Obama and Palin are abused.

Even though the names of the candidates and their running mates have been protected by their representatives as good as possible, the  very obvious domain name www.sarahpalin.com has been taken by someone else. Yet an other example to show that you should protect the domain name that are important to you before it’s too late.

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This post was written by lieve on October 29, 2008

New policy .si names

On Thursday November 6th there will be a new registration policy in force for .si names. Arnes (.si registry) has made it easier to register a .si domain name. From November 6th, anyone who wants, can register a .si name. Local presence isn’t necessary anymore. There is also no maximum number, so you can register as many names as you wish.

Therefore, we advise you to request your .si name before November 6th. bNamed already offers .si registrations through local presence. So the best thing to do, is to register your .si name now. We expect that from November 6th, a lot of valuable names will be taken by people who didn’t have this chance before because of the strict policy.

On Arnes’ site, you’ll also find more information concerning the new policy.

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This post was written by lieve on October 27, 2008

.tel names: what are the options?

At the beginning of December, the sunrise period for .tel names starts. By this initiative, Telnic (the .tel registry) wants to become a decent competitor for the White and Yellow pages. But what’s a .tel name really about and what are the advantages?

For starters, a .tel name offers everybody the possibility to centralize his or her contact information. Once you’ve registred a .tel name, you can bring together your address, phone-, fax- and mobile phone number, your e-mail,… and make them available in an efficient way. By using your .tel name, people who want to find you (customers, suppliers,…) can save lots of time.

What you should know is that your .tel name isn’t associated with a specific website. How does it work? You register a .tel name and put your contact information under this name. People who want to know your contact information, can consult them through their iPhone or Blackberry. They can see all the information they need and by a simple push on the button they can contact you.

You can easily complete, update or delete your contact information yourself. Your .tel name doesn’t have to be managed by an IT department. But what about your privacy? Telnic has thought about this. They offer you the possibility to work with access levels. So you decide who sees which information. If you only want your customers and suppliers to see your company information and your friends to see your private phone number, this isn’t a problem.

Telnic also thinks that the registration of certain .tel names could become a battle. And they might be right. Just imagine you would be able to register hotels.tel. Probably a lot of hotels would like everybody to be able to consult their contact information under your .tel name.

Some firms have already found extra services for .tel names. For instance Digitrad, a Paris-based company wants to offer a multimedia phone number. Through this number the phone will ring wherever you happen to be (your desk, your mobile,…)

You can sign in for pre-registrations of .tel names at bNamed. Through this link, you’ll also find the prices for the pre-registrations of .tel names.

Business week also covers .tel names this week.

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This post was written by lieve on October 24, 2008

Flanders wants his own extension

As mentioned before on this site, ICANN soon offers the possibility to register a personal extension. A while ago, Mark Demesmaeker, a member of the Flemish Parlemiant, asked the question if Flanders would also receive his own extension. Tuesday, Kris Peeters, the Flemish vice president answered this question affirmatively.

What will be the Flemish alternative for .be and .com isn’t clear yet. It could be .fla, .vla, .vln or .vlaanderen. What is sure, is that .vl isn’t an option because 2 letters extension are only allowed for regcognized independent states.

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This post was written by lieve on October 22, 2008

How popular is your domain name?

Have you always wanted to know how popular your domain name is? DNfame.com and DNSrank.com now launch a nice tool to examen the popularity of your domain name. If you submit your name on these websites you get to see for instance your pagerank on Google and how many other website link to your website. A nice extra on DNSrank.com is that you can see how much your site is worth. Of course this amount can’t be taken for granted but it’s nice to compare different websites.

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This post was written by lieve on October 21, 2008

Special conditions for personal extension

Soon ICANN will offer the possibility to register your own domain extension, for instance .yourcompany, .yourname. However, if you want to register a country, city or county name, there are certain restrictions.

1) If you want to register a country, city or county name as an extension, you need to have the permission of the governemt of this country, city or county. For instance if you want to register .london as an extension, you need to have the permission of the government of London. You should be able to prove to ICANN that you have the permission of the government, for example with a document in which the government clearly states that they give you the permission for registration.

2) If you want to register a city name which is used by different governments, you should receive permission of every government. For instance if you want to register .hoboken as an extension, you’ll need to have the permission of the government of Hoboken in Antwerp (Belgium) and of the government of Hoboken in New Jersey (USA). You should again be able to prove to ICANN that you have the permissin for registration of every government.

3) A third important matter is that the registration of such an extension will be quite expensive. The registration of such an extension will cost somewhere between €70.000 and 100.000.

You can find more information about the registration of a city, country or county name.

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This post was written by lieve on October 20, 2008

SIDN up and running again

The SIDN (registry for .nl domain names) reports that the failure in their system has been resolved. Between 18h30 and 19h30, an attempt was made to restart the registration system, after which the SIDN had to conclude that the problems no longer existed. The real cause of this failure however has not yet been found.

The availability of .nl domain names can now be checked again and adjustments or new registrations are also possible.

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This post was written by admin on October 17, 2008

.nl registry down for maintenance (update)

The failure that appeared earlier today at the .nl registry (SIDN), hasn’t been solved yet. SIDN can’t tell yet when normal operations will be resumed again. For the latest news on this, you can also check the website of the SIDN.

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This post was written by lieve on October 17, 2008