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Network Solutions hijacks customer sub-domains for ad fest

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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." ®

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