Security Bytes

Oct 29 2008   3:34PM GMT

ICANN terminates alleged malware hosting provider EstDomains

David Schneier David Schneier Profile: David Schneier

ICANN, the organization that controls the top-level domains, has pulled the accreditation of EstDomains, a hosting provider that has been under fire for months from the security community for allegedly providing a safe haven for spammers, malware authors and other undesirables. This is a major and rare move on ICANN’s part, and perhaps signals a new willingness to play a bit of hardball with hosting providers who don’t police themselves. Antispam activists and security experts for months have been telling anyone who would listen that EstDomains was closely linked to Intercage/Atrivo, a hosting provider that is now out of business, but had been listed as one of the more active hosters of spam and malware operations.

The loss of accreditation is the result of EstDomains’ president, Vladimir Tsastsin, being convicted of several crimes in Estonia in February, including credit card fraud and money laundering, according to a letter ICANN sent to Tsastsin Tuesday.

Be advised that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) for EstDomains Inc. (Customer No. 919, IANA No. 832) is terminated. Consistent with subsection 5.3.3 of the RAA, this termination is based on your status as President of EstDomains and your credit card fraud, money laundering and document forgery conviction.

ICANN is now looking for another registrar or registrars to take over the hundreds of thousands of domains that EstDomains managed.

As the result of the de-accreditation of EstDomains, Inc. (IANA ID 832), ICANN is seeking Statements of Interest from ICANN-accredited registrars that are interested in assuming sponsorship of the gTLD names that had been managed by EstDomains.

EstDomains managed approximately 280,000 gTLD registrations, including registrations in the biz, com, info, mobi, net, and org registries, including approximately 7 second-level internationalized domain names.

The EstDomains termination is set to go into effect on Nov. 12.

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