Feeds

Network Solutions hijacks customer sub-domains for ad fest

Your site. Their marketing filth

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Shameless domain registrar and web hoster Network Solutions is hijacking its customers' sub-domains, filling these pilfered pages with a sea of money-making ad links.

And you can guess where the money goes.

Earlier this week, a man named Win Betteridge told TechCrunch that Network Solutions pulled this clever little trick with his "social gaming" site, GotGame.com. Betteridge hosts GotGame with "NetSol," and somewhere along the way, he realized that his unused GotGame sub-domains resolved to ad-infested "parking" pages.

"For instance, app.gotgame.com resolves to a Network Solutions page with text links, including 'Poker Tournaments' and 'Texas Holdem Games,'" he said.

As pointed out by ArsTechnica, the Virginia-based Network Solutions reserves the right to do this with every site it hosts. The company's terms of service include this:

You also agree that any domain name directory, sub-directory, file name or path (e.g.) that does not resolve to an active web page on your Web site being hosted by Network Solutions, may be used by Network Solutions to place a "parking" page, "under construction" page, or other temporary page that may include promotions and advertisements for, and links to, Network Solutions' Web site, Network Solutions product and service offerings, third-party Web sites, third-party product and service offerings, and/or Internet search engines. You agree that Network Solutions may change the content and/or appearance of, or disable any of these temporary pages at any time, in its sole discretion, and without prior notice.

Yes, you can opt out this questionable program. But first you have to know about it. The EULA housing the above paragraph is 59,000 words long.

Network Solutions can argue that other hosters have pulled a similar trick. But that doesn't make it right. Of course, this isn't nearly as bad the company's domain front running scam. Which it continues to call a "security measure." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
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
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.