Feeds

BIND developer blocks Verisign Net grab move

Road to Nowhere

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

The developer of the technology used to direct surfers on the Web has announced it is developing a workaround designed to stop users who mistype URLs ending up at VeriSign's new search site.

The Internet Software Consortium, the nonprofit body that develops the ubiquitous BIND domain name server, is adapting its software so that those users who enter mistyped domain names would not automatically end up at VeriSign's Site Finder search engine service, AP reports. The patch could be available as early as today.

DNS servers running the modified version of BIND would recognise - and ignore - wrongly typed addresses that resolve to Site Finder.

The controversy kicked off on Monday, when Verisign added wildcard DNS records to all .com and .net domains - redirecting surfers who get lost on the Net to a search page, called Site Finder, run by the company. Those who type in non-existent addresses will also be served up Site Finder, instead of an error message. Verisign isn't saying how much it expects to make from selling advertising on this site.

Company executive state that the service is primarily designed to helps lost surfers find their way on the Net.

Ben Turner, VeriSign's vice president for naming services, told Wired that Site Finder improved the "overall usability of the Internet."

People mistype ".com" and ".net" names 20 million times daily, Turner said, and internal studies show "the vast majority of users prefer a page like this than what they are getting today."

Critics are having none of this. They argue that the service violates established Internet standards, in particular making it harder to recognise spam that fails to arrive from a legitimate domain.

Others argue that Verisign's move creates a single point of failure. Anybody who broke into the site and uploaded a malicious programme could look forward to compromising machines on a grand scale.

Admittedly much the same could be said of any heavy traffic site. Verisign's move is also not unprecedented - users who mistype URLs in IE are sometimes served up with an MSN search page.

But Verisign, unlike Microsoft, has altered a core Internet system. Its perceived abuse of its role as the custodian of the .com and .net address space has also incensed sysadmins. ®

Related Stories

Verisign DNS change broke my HP printer (letters)
All your Web typos are belong to us

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.