Feeds

Why Spamcop got yanked

Joker.com hiccup

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.