Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/03/domain_scam/

Domain scam duo fined AU$2.3m

Oz crooks pommelled over Nominet attack

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 3rd January 2006 16:53 GMT

A pair of fraudsters who made millions using a domain registration scam have been ordered to pay AU$2.3m (£980,000) by an Australian court.

Brad Norrish and Chesley Rafferty conned victims into stumping up non-existent fees under the threat that they risked losing their domain names unless they paid up. The duo used data from domain name registrar Nominet to produce authentic-looking notices that lent credibility to the trick, the Australian reports.

Up to 50,000 UK website owners were targeted in the scam. Nominet was forced to take the extreme step of disabling its publicly available database as a result of the scam.

Judge Robert French, of a Perth-based Australian Federal Court, ruled that Norrish and Rafferty had flagrantly breached copyright laws and ordered them to pay A$1.3m damages to Nominet plus an estimated A$1m in legal fees. T

he ruling brings to an end a two-and-a-half year legal fight by Nominet that began when the UK domain-name registrar sued Norrish and Rafferty in 2003. ®