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Author: Artists Against 419

BEC, a Metamorphosis of Advance Fee Fraud

BEC, a Metamorphosis of Advance Fee Fraud

BEC (Business Email Compromise) has gained more and more attention lately. Most recent statistics show $26 billion in losses the past three years. The sad reality is that BEC could have been avoidable if Advance Fee Fraud (AFF) had been recognized earlier as the threat it is and dealt with appropriately. Inaction on basic levels, despite alerts for the past 16 years from Artists Against 419, allowed these actors to escalate to unknown heights. BEC is the end product of…

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Tick Tock – time is up. Exposing ICANN Policy …

Tick Tock – time is up. Exposing ICANN Policy …

For the past few years Artists Against 419 has seen mass abuse of domains, with blatant fake registration details, being ignored by ICANN and certain contracted parties. The domains of concern are domains being abused in Advance Fee Fraud to defraud consumers, yet this isn’t important to ICANN. In the mean time we’re in contact with victims and law enforcement, we see annual losses escalating at shocking rates. Some registrars and registries care, they try their best to mitigate abuse…

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Should we be honoring clientHolds for certain Registrars?

Should we be honoring clientHolds for certain Registrars?

We’ve become aware that the domain suspension system is being gamed. Once we become aware that a malicious domain is targeting consumers, we list it in our database. We also have some free sub-domains and free URLs to content, but this discussion doesn’t include them. Up until now, we’ll submit reports to certain registrars who would suspend them. Likewise certain Registries monitor our database and upon a listing by us would investigate and suspend these domains. These Registrars and Registries…

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What Protection Does ICANN Offer The Consumer?

What Protection Does ICANN Offer The Consumer?

On the 20th of Jan 2018 we sent an email to Tucows and the reseller SmarterASP on domains used for websites selling both legitimate and forged passports, visas, drivers licenses etc. They also claimed to sell forged currency. The reality is this is a well known scam used by Cameroonian fraudsters. Invariably these lead to later extortion where the fraudsters impersonate the authorities and fees/fines are payable.

Advance Fee Fraud: Content Issues or DNS Abuse?

Advance Fee Fraud: Content Issues or DNS Abuse?

All to often we see people that should know better, claiming that Advance Fee Fraud (AFF) is purely content issues. A while back a senior person at a company offering security services, which includes email filtering, expressed his surprise that AFF uses bespoke domains to defraud. More recently a community member of ICANN denied that domains and DNS abuse is seen in consumer facing threats. When he was shown such, he was surprised. What is DNS? DNS is an abbreviation…

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Avast highlights the failing in consumer protection

Avast highlights the failing in consumer protection

Sometimes we can learn a lot from what experts in their field of operation publish. Ironically we saw this yesterday again when Avast, a large anti-virus vendor, quoted an article by John Wasik on Forbes: All online scams have one thing in common: They want to tap your greed to get at personal information they can steal. These “phishing” ruses are happening 24/7. A typical banking scam will ask for information so the scammer can access anything from your credit…

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The GDPR and blanket privacy: Hold on – who watches the guardians ICANN?

The GDPR and blanket privacy: Hold on – who watches the guardians ICANN?

ICANN had two complaints they closed, escalated back to them last week. One was a Registrar Standards complaint, one was regarding a rogue reseller proxy at the registrar which is the subject of the first complaint. Why? What happens where we have a registrar that serially accepts and has been accepting weak unverified registration details, for at least the past four years into the registries, in violation of the ICANN RAA and this leads to mass abuse? What happens if…

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Three vehicle scams, a warning in a GDPR WHOIS future

Three vehicle scams, a warning in a GDPR WHOIS future

The worlds leading and biggest registrar, GoDaddy, has adopted the attitude that the registrant name, phone number and email address is private information, much in line with the proposed ICANN WHOIS changes to meet the requirements of the upcoming GDPR the end of this month (May, 2018). These changes by Godaddy has left various commercial and governmental players dissatisfied, leading to a complaint to ICANN via Mr Brian Winterfeldt (Winterfeldt IP Group, PLLLC): https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/winterfeldt-to-chalaby-et-al-10mar18-en.pdf ICANN is still stalling on this…

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The Roman Bathhouse Babies

The Roman Bathhouse Babies

What rights do you have as an ordinary internet consumer? To best answer this, let’s first look at a recent discovery more than a 100 baby skeletons in a Roman bathhouse sewer: The discovery of a mass baby grave under Roman bathhouse in Ashkelon, Israel Along the shores of Israel’s Mediterranean coast, in the ancient seaport of Ashkelon, archaeologist Ross Voss made a gruesome find. While exploring one of the city’s sewers, he discovered a large number of small bones….

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