Feeds

Why Spamcop got yanked

Joker.com hiccup

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Anyone who tried reporting spam to the popular Spamcop service this weekend got a nasty surprise. The site had bizarrely disappeared. And no, it wasn't a server outage.

Joker.com, the German service that registered the Spamcop.net domain name, decided to yank the Spamcop.net domain name from its database, citing false Whois information.

The Whois database records the contact information for each registered domain in the DNS, the data query service used for translating hostnames into internet addresses.

On October 15, Spamcop.net owner Julian Haight received an email from Joker.com, which claimed that "the address-record of the owner of this domain is incomplete or wrong".

Haight discovered that only thing wrong about the record was a disconnected phone number. He corrected the number using Joker's own web-admin interface and figured that would be the end of it. Not for Joker.com. The registrar pulled the plug on Spamcop.net last Friday (October 31).

"It appears that a false complaint can spur a process, whereby the owner of the domain must fax a signed response or face termination of service," Haight writes. 'It should be noted that the original complaint (about the incorrect phone number - The Reg) was false and presumably malicious in nature - a human-engineered denial of service attack.'

Joker.com corrected the mistake and from today (Monday) Spamcop is alive and kicking again.

The interesting thing is that Whois records are chockful with incorrect details. Spammers frequently register domain names using bogus zip codes, real-looking phone numbers that turn out to be nonexistent or disconnected; and countless email addresses that bounce. Joker.com's databases are no exception.

In September, the Bush administration ordered The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to improve the "accuracy of Whois data." However, not much has happened. Registrars only seem to respond to complaints, even incorrect ones, and do very little checking themselves. ®

Related stories

The conspiracy against our in-boxes
MP unleashes brilliant anti-spam plan
Spam fighters defeat nuisance junk mail lawsuit
Sobig linked to DDoS attacks on anti-spam sites

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu
Lawyers will have to earn their keep the hard way, says court
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.