Krampus has arrived

Krampus has arrived

While rumors  abound of a chap in red clothes sneaking around, silently slipping presents into houses under Christmas trees for the children, other rumors were spreading. Somebody had preceded Santa. Krampus had arrived. He’s been  quite busy for a while now doing, of all things, cyber inspections!

The South African Tender Scam (ZA Tender Scam)

The South African Tender Scam (ZA Tender Scam)

The South African tender scam has been targeting businesses in Southern Africa for a while. While it’s a procurement scam targeting businesses, which in itself isn’t unique, the execution of it is and is identifying. It has already led to devastating financial losses, forcing many smaller business to close their doors in South Africa, resulting in job losses. This is at a time when the South African economy can ill afford it. Typically new naive, or unaware business owners, easily…

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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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DNS Abuse Dominoes

DNS Abuse Dominoes

While ICANN, the regulators and the various interest groups are debating the definitions of DNS abuse, what constitutes a security threat and is within their responsibility (or rather not), what’s wrong in this area, fraudsters don’t care about these shenanigans. They’re exploiting DNS to their own advantage in well defined illegal activities. The rules made when the Internet was young, seems unable to keep the steps with current realities. The divide between the ideal Internet in the regulators’ model and…

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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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