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VeriSign Sued Over SiteFinder Service

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the to-all-good-things dept.

The Internet 403

dmehus writes "It was only a matter of time, the pundits said, and they were right. Popular Enterprises, LLC., an Orlando, Florida based cybersquatting so-called 'search services' company, has filed a lawsuit in Orlando federal court against VeriSign, Inc. over VeriSign's controversial SiteFinder 'service.' While PopularEnterprises has had a dodgy history of buying up thousands of expired domain names and redirecting them to its Netster.com commercial "search services" site, the lawsuit is most likely a good thing, as it provides one more avenue to pursue in getting VeriSign to terminate SiteFinder. According to the lawsuit, the company contends alleges antitrust violations, unfair competition and violations of the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. It asks the court to order VeriSign to put a halt to the service. VeriSign spokesperson Brian O'Shaughnessy said the company has not yet seen the lawsuit and that it doesn't comment on pending litigation."

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eff peeeeee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001159)

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! fuck the lamness filter too...

YOU FAIL IT (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001215)

A widespread belief among faggots nowadays is that modern faggotry requires squadrons of faggots and wildly expensive equipment.

Slashdot faggot editor Michael shows off his nuclear anal probe, based on the plans of SCO's own Cmdr Taco, the inventor of Slashdot.

Michael, a baby-faced-cock-monkey fresh out of Faggot School, had almost the entire faggot faculty of Utah State University hovering (and arguing and cock sucking) over an anal aparatus he had cobbled together from parts salvaged from bath house and AIDS wards.

The apparatus is nothing less than the sine qua non of modern faggotry: a nuclear anal probe, based on the plans of Utah's own Cmdr Taco, the inventor of Slashdot and faggotry in general.

The anal probe sat on a table with an attached vacuum pump wheezing away. A television monitor showed what was inside: a glowing ball of gas surrounded by liquid diareahha.

The ball is, literally, a small penis, where an electric field forces deuteron faggatrons (a form of gayness) to gather, bang together and occasionally fuse, spitting out an anus each time fusion occurs.

"Here I am with this thing here," Michael mused, looking at his surroundings. "Who'da thought I'd be so gay?"

Michael and Taco are much alike. Both are (or were -- Cmdr Taco became Mrs Cmdr Taco in 2001) faggots. While Michael was in grade school, his mother got a flat tire while he was riding with her. He fixed it by selling himself for gay sex then using the money to pay a mechanic. For his part, Taco began improvising electric dildos at a young age. Both went on to put bigger and better things in their assholes.

"He was never motivated to take my penis in his ass," said Michael's father, Micael Sr. "It was really the gayness that motivated him."

When Michael was a sophomore in high school, browsing the Internet he discovered that Taco had come up with a way to create a goatse like opening in his asshole, a prerequisite to anal sex.

While it was not good for production of faggots (the source of much embarrassment to the VA Software in the dot com debacle in the early 2000s), Taco's design did emit faggotrons, a useful tool for commercial applications and scientific gayness.
USU freshman physics major Michael, demonstrated his experiment to mentor faggots professors Richard Stallman, and Alan (Anal) Cox.

"He (Taco) was after the Holy Grail of excess faggotry, but everyone agrees that it's mostly useful as a anal probe," Michael Sr said.

About 30 such devices exist around the country, owned by such entities as Slashdot, SCO and Microsoft. ("I bet I'm the only faggot that has one," Michael said.)

Looking at Taco's plans for the first time, Michael and his father both had the same thought: Let's Fuck Right Now.

They set to work. They found a bed in an Idaho Falls scrap metal yard. Michael built a giant dildo (which can be eased into any asshole) out of a few hundred spare CDs. They found a broken turbo anal pump lying forgotten at Timothy Industries.

Too poor to buy pricey male hookers, Michael bought a container of petroleum jelly, or faggot grease, for 20 bucks and came up with a way to make it a gas and get rid of the accompanying chunks of shit by passing it over heated anal rod.

Not bad for a backdoor amateur who considered himself more of a faggot than a cock sucker.

"I teased his anus now that he was now officially a faggot," Michael Sr said.

One professor Friday stood nervously away from Michaels's reactor -- which is notably free from any condoms -- but he needn't have worried Michaels detector measures 36 faggots per minute just in background anuses from space, and the device's usual output adds only four faggotry anuses per minute. Faggots in bath houses absorb much more than that.

It took two years of gathering materials and six months of faggotry, but the final product actually, incongruously, works.

"(This was) the day I achieved a felching reaction," Michael wrote next to a picture of the glowing cock and balls. "Probably the gayest thing I have ever seen."

Others thought it was cool, too. Michael began winning contests -- local, state, national -- culminating in second place in the International Faggot Fair last May in Cleveland. He's now beginning work on a USU faggot degree.

"The whole thing combines faggotry and Slashdot," he said. "Put them all together and you come out with something pretty sweet: Anal sex with my father"

Cmdr Taco is said to be very proud.

I've never understood (0, Flamebait)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001161)

What's wrong with cybersquatting? How is it different from the pioneers getting 40 acres and a mule?

Re:I've never understood (2, Informative)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001174)

Because sometimes that "land" has been previously owned, and the rights to it expired (not always intentionally).

There's nothing wrong about cybersquatting, but it's Just Not Right(TM).

Re:I've never understood (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001221)

FROM MRS SANDRA WILLIAMS

In brief Introduction , utill we see face to face , I am MRS SANDRA WILLIAMS, a widow , my husband was Comrade George WILLIAMS of the blessd memory who died on the 25th of feb 2001 in detention in Freetown, Sierre Leone . Following the collapse of mojor Johnny Paul Koromah military regime by the combined forces of
the west Africa peace keeping force (ECOMOG) which
reinstalled the civilian elected President Alhaji
Tejan Kabbah. The President upon resumption of office , clamped down on my husband and his colleagues who served under the military arrangement of major Johnny Paul Koromah and
succeeded in killing some of them including my
husband, may his soul rest in peace Amen.
When my husband was in detention before his death , He instructed me to take possession of one large trunk box which contains the sum of US$8.5 Millions in the custody of one security company in Abidjan Cote d'ivoire. He told me to go to the under ground vault of our family house in the village, Mande that I will see the document covering the deposite of the trunk
box that when ever I declare the document to the
security company, they will release the box to me. He also instructed me to look for a foreign partner who will help me to invest the funds.
According to him, he said that the security company where this box where deposited do not know the exact content of the box for security reasons as it was declared as family valuables not as money. And he instructed me, in any case that I should not let the security company to know the real content of the box. Immediatly after his death I and my son where able to
move out of the country Sierra-Leone to Abidjan
Cote d'Ivoire through the help of my husband's family friend who has a fishing trawler. Now, I have located the security company here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire and were confirm really that
he deposited a trunk box in their custody through the security company Director and their executive
Officers.

Right now Iam looking for a reliable trust worthy
foreign partner who will be able to help me retreive the consignment and transfer these funds from here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire to a safe Bank account overseas and back it up when the fund enter?s his account aboard and also advice me on a favourable business investment opportunities where these funds will be effectively invest.

The security company where this box where deposited in Abidjan do not know the exact content of the box for security reasons as it was declared as family valuables not as money. So my dear , I am in the name of god soliciting for your help in this matter as this is the only hope of survival for me and my son since the man of the house is out.

I have negotiated with my son to give you 15% of the total cash as commision, while you will be gaining 5% of the monthly profit of the investment. All this are subject to negotiation upon your acceptance. Moreover, other very important details shall be made known to you as soon as I receive your positive response to this proposal.

Please help me with good spirit in the name of God
Almight Thanking you for anticipated co-operation.

Yours faithfully

MRS SANDRA WILLIAMS

Re:I've never understood (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001295)

Dear Mrs. Sandra Williams:

May your husband suck cocks in hell. Amen.

Sincerely,
God Almight

Re:I've never understood (2, Informative)

JayBlalock (635935) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001180)

Well, the term has gotten expanded to mean pretty much "owning a domain you don't use." But originally it referred to people who would, say, buy the rights to a celebrity's name .com, and then extort them into paying lots of money to get the rights to it. This ended once the first trademark-infringement case went to court. However, the general term stuck around and is now (IMHO) generally way over-used.

Owning a domain you don't use (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001268)

Owning a domain that wasn't in DNS used to be called a "lame delegation". At one time, about a decade ago, it was considered reasonable to garbage-collect domains that were lame delegations, but that was back before the Internet went commercial. Now you can have all the lame delegations you want.

But why? There's no real market in domain names any more. Verisign tried to make one. GreatDomains used to have thousands of listings, and you'd see things like "Asked: $25,000. Bid: $20." Now Verisign only has "premium domains" on GreatDomains, ones like "record.com". There are only 66 domains for sale, and few sales.

Re:I've never understood (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001193)

Cybersquatting is great for cybershitting. I am not sure how you would do it any other way.

This isn't cybersquatting. (4, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001218)

There were two main types of cybersquatting, as I saw it --
  • buying up random names, and hoping someone would buy it from you (aka. domain speculation)
  • buying up specific company names, and charging them obnoxious amounts if they want it (which would end up in court, etc)
In this case, Verisign didn't pay for anything-- they're claiming everything that hasn't been bought. Not only that, but if someone had a domain, but didn't have a host in the domain, they're claiming that as theirs, too.

[Not that I'm surprised...the first sign that things like this were going to happen was when IE started replacing webserver error messages with their own if they decided your error message wasn't big enough, and replacing 'server not found' with links to their search engine]

So well, your 40 acres comparison falls through as it's more the equivalent of someone saying 'all this is mine until someone else buys it' and then, after you buy your plot, they still claim the area that you haven't built on yet, even though you have the deed to it.

Re:I've never understood (4, Informative)

marphod (41394) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001228)

How is it different from the pioneers getting 40 acres and a mule?

First, a history lesson. '40 Acres and a Mule' wasn't a pioneer issue. What it is true that during the western rushes, various federal lands were put up for auction or claim by pioneers. The lands were not, however, specified to be 40 acres, but varied in size based on the territory and the specific land grant. For that matter, according to one of my HS Social Studies teachers (a dozen years ago), there were still federal lands for claim in parts of Alaska. That teacher was known to embellish the truth, so I won't put any varacity statement with that.

'40 acres and a mule' were reparations for slaves in the south. They were instituted by a Northern (Union) general, during the aftermath of the civil war, and were later reveresed by an presidential executive order.

So, in short, your parellel falls a little short. If the ICANN were to pass a ruling granting johnny-come-latelies names from vast corporate pools, that would be comprable.

So, what's wrong with cybersquatting: Well, with the federal land grants, if you occupied and developed the federal lands for a specified period of time, they became yours. You could sell or otherwise use them as you wished. Here, cybersqquatters either are taking a developed item (debatably property) and using its good will and value for an interest contrary to the orginal owners. Which would be a violation of the land grants, so thats one point where your analogy fails.

The other type of cybersquatter (who speculates on names or misspellings) is also abusing the good will of the originator, but may be a valid comparison. It is, however, annoying, to get redirected away from what you wanted because of a typo, and from the other side, a squatter who is taking an otherwise useful resource and making it near-useless is neither providing a valid service or generating good will.

Homesteading (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001256)

That's what it's called.

If it were the gold rush days of the internet, sites like www.greatdeals.com and www.coffee.com and other pretty easily guessed site names would make excellent speculatory investments. Those are all gone now, of course. But in those days was it really that bad to take common words and phrases and register them in hopes of selling them to money flushed dot coms?

Re:Homesteading (5, Insightful)

jms (11418) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001304)

Homesteading required that the homesteader develop and improve the property in order to receive title. You had to actually live on the land, and farm it, and build a house with a door and window, and after you had proved the land, you would receive title.

Cybersquatters do no such thing. There's a difference between registering coffee.com to build a coffee site and registering www.coffee.com to resell it later. Cybersquatters are more akin to ticket scalpers than to homesteaders.

And like so many illegal things (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001309)

There are no victims.

first verisign sux post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001162)

THEY ARE THE SUCK!! jeah

Re:first verisign sux post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001173)

No, YOU ARE THE SUCK!

obligatory, do not mod up (-1, Offtopic)

bahamat (187909) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001261)

In soviet russia verisign sucks you.

ha ha, yada yada yada.

Arrrrrr! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001166)

VeriSign be a bunch of land-lubbin' butt pirates, mateys!

Re:Arrrrrr! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001227)

Aye, I do believe you be correct, me bucko.

Talk like a pirate day [talklikeapirate.com]

Nice tactic. (5, Informative)

NightSpots (682462) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001168)

Anti-trust was one of the very few tactics I didn't hear discussed as possible ways to stop Verisign.

Arguing that they get for free what other companies must pay for is probably one of the easier arguments for win, since it proves itself nearly by definition.

I applaud the jackass who pays to abuse typos. At least they've finally proven their worth.

I dunno about that. (3, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001372)

They get it for free, but they also lose it any time someone wants to take it away, for any specific domain. I personally don't like it, but I don't know if this particular avenue of attack will succeed.

what the fuck? (0, Flamebait)

u-238 (515248) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001175)

just a few minutes ago i was reading a forum and someine directed me to " http://www.ananitech.com/ "

i loaded it up, and it eventually brought up the new site finder, and said "did you mean" and gave me a list (with google spell checking accuracy) of sites that it could have been. sure enough, it linked me to anandtech.com, which is what the person was refering to.

and the writer or this article states that"the lawsuit is most likely a good thing, as it provides one more avenue to pursue in getting VeriSign to terminate SiteFinder"

What the fuck are you talking about?

would you rather be refered to a list of similar sites who might be the one you meant, or fucking nester.com ???

what the fuck is wrong with you?

Re:what the fuck? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001217)

you did notice that the link you click is actually not a link to the site, right? It goes through some javascript and then redirects you.

I don't like that shit, I don't trust Verisign.

Re:what the fuck? (-1, Flamebait)

u-238 (515248) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001232)

WTF????? YOU WOULD RATHER HAVE NETSTER.COM??

i dont trust it. its part of a mass conspiracy involving microsoft somehow.

SHUT THE FUCK UP

Re:what the fuck? (1, Flamebait)

SpookyFish (195418) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001240)

Even worse user data than an AC, and I'm not a troll feeder... but he's on the spot, language or no.

Verisign has the rights.. that decision has been made, and can be addressed in other venues if there is a desire. So, they are getting some ad bucks off making less-savvy and too-fast-typing people -- *BUT* ultimately directing them in the right place.

GOOD FOR THEM. You (and I) know we wish we'd thought of it and had the position to use it.

Don't like it, don't agree with it, but acknowledge their right to use the service they faught for and won. If you can't take it, fight the fight to give them (better) competition, instead of filing some frivolous lawsuit.

MOD IT UP.

Re:what the fuck? (5, Insightful)

IHateUniqueNicks (577298) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001308)

Where have you been? Have you noticed the fact that it's important to be able to tell when a site doesn't exist? That this crap means typos can cripple most e-mail servers? That it invalidates a good section of the RFCs the Internet itself was based on???

Wake up. If you want to find a site, you use Google. If you want to go to a non-existant one, you should damn well be told there's nothing there.

Re:what the fuck? (1)

SpookyFish (195418) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001349)

Fair enough, good point. I didn't think about the impact it would have on caches and other software that relies on proper HTTP responses (or lack thereof).

So, I amend that to -- If they can send a response header that is RFC compliant, but happen to display a page through some loophole (likely in the favorite *ahem* IE), then they can go for it.

Actually, I don't really care that much either way. I can probably hit stop and search it on google or click a bookmark before their page comes up anyway. It's my non-geek friends and parents I am considering.

Re:what the fuck? (1)

Spl0it (541008) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001341)

They're abusing a system, and exploiting the power that they were given. Thats hardly a good idea, thats like...

a gas station setting up pilons and signs on the road that FORCE every person off the road int he right lane if they didn't 'see' it intime to go into the gas station... BS BS BS Mod it up, and whoever said Re:what the fuck? (Score:3, Funny) by SpookyFish (195418) Should be removed from moderation!!!

-Spl0it

SWAT comes back to mind ... (0, Offtopic)

dzym (544085) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001178)

one hundred meeeellion dollahs!

Re:SWAT comes back to mind ... (1)

bahamat (187909) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001237)

If you're going to quote pop culture, do it right.

Dr. Evil quite prominently pronounced his "R"s

Re:SWAT comes back to mind ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001287)

You mean like:

one hundred meeeellion dollahrs!

?

Re:SWAT comes back to mind ... (0, Redundant)

Red Warrior (637634) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001310)

Dr. Evil was in SWAT? I missed that part of the movie...

Pert Peeve (5, Interesting)

QuantumSpritz (703080) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001182)

Cybersquatting, though one of the great minor evils of the web, is damned hard to stop. I can't think of any way to regulate/legislate it without messing up the domain registration and transfer process for everyone else - though it would be nice to be able to buy domains BACK from these companies - I would imagine quie a few choice domains are in their hands. Nice to see a lawsuit taking on Verisign over this - even if it is a cybersquatter. I wonder if there's an intelligent way to reserve domain names for individuals and organizations which already have use for the name - maybe a form of 'prior branding' only better implemented...

Re:Pert Peeve (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001306)

To get a domain.com.au address, the "domain" part has to have something to do with your registered company name, at least it did last time I checked. It seems to work well, IMHO.

The pool (5, Funny)

r_glen (679664) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001183)

OK guys, who had 3-5 days??

"Unfair advantage"? (4, Interesting)

tessaiga (697968) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001186)

According to the lawsuit, Mountain View, California-based VeriSign has been using its position as the keeper of the master list of all Web addresses ending in ".com" and ".net," also called domain names, to unfair advantage.
So Popular Enterprises' complaint is not that VeriSign is cybersquatting, but that they're doing it more effectively without letting others have a slice of the pie?

I guess people will figure that the end justifies the means, but the argument still seems a little distasteful.

Re:"Unfair advantage"? (2, Informative)

sillypixie (696077) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001280)

  • So Popular Enterprises' complaint is not that VeriSign is cybersquatting, but that they're doing it more effectively without letting others have a slice of the pie?

No, I think their complaint is that Verisign is in charge of baking the pies in the first place... it's hard to develop market share for your product, if users are diverted upstream.

Re:"Unfair advantage"? (5, Insightful)

Caled (26214) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001335)

Verisign has just acquired more domain names than there are atoms in the universe. If Mountain View wanted them they'd have to pay more money than exists, whereas it only cost versign a line in their DNS records.

This is clearly abuse of monopoly.

Re:"Unfair advantage"? (4, Insightful)

digital bath (650895) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001380)

You know, I wouldn't really have THAT much of a problem if verisign at least served up the page with a 404 status error in the header. However, their sitefinder gives out the normal "200: ok" status on bad domains, which seems to me like a serious problem - I can see this breaking existing apps.

They screwed up resellerratings.com (1)

melted (227442) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001191)

Even though the site is perfectly fine, I CAN'T access it without hitting their stupid "finder" for some reason.

Actually... (2, Interesting)

Gzip Christ (683175) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001281)

They screwed up resellerratings.com
Even though the site is perfectly fine, I CAN'T access it without hitting their stupid "finder" for some reason.
Actually, the real cause of the problem is likely not Verisign at all. As Slashdot reported a few days ago, people can read words with the letters in the wrong place [slashdot.org] so long as the first and the last letter are correct. There's a good chance that you weren't able to find the site because you typed in something like rcsll.aeseerrtingom. See - I bet you wouldn't have even noticed the typo had I not pointed it out! It's amazing how adaptable the human mind is. Please check your spelling and then try again.

--------
The fake Gzip Christ isn't not user number ~0xA6CA7

Most ISPs have blocked it (4, Informative)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001192)

*Confirmed*: Adelphia has blocked VeriSign's new "service."

Please reply to this and list names of fellow anti-VeriSign ISPs if your ISP has blocked this new "feature" as well.

Thanks! I will enjoy analyzing this data.

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (5, Informative)

shostiru (708862) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001300)

We (mid-sized midwestern ISP) had our main nameservers (tinydns and djbdns) patched by 2AM the night this mess started, using the patches we found here. By a few hours later, I'd kludged the BIND source myself on a couple of other machines to return NXDOMAIN for anything in all three of the /24 netblocks in AS30060 (it worked fine, at least until the ISC patch was released). AFAIK our customers never even noticed the wildcarding.

If you work in an ISP or other network infrastructure company, you know first-hand the degree of astonishment and rage that Verisign's move elicited; the fallout (spam filtration, security, network monitoring, etc.) goes far beyond HTTP. I don't think any of us slept much that night ... it only took a few hours to restore normal DNS behaviour, the remaining ten or so I spent in shock with my jaw scraping the floor.

I've dealt with Verisign before (try getting decent documentation on the cybercash application library!) and knew they were greedy and stupid, but I wasn't counting on raw, unfettered eeeeeevil.

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001305)

two more on this side of the pond. Portugal's largest dial and ADSL ISPs have both patched their DNS resolvers to block this.

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (4, Informative)

jms (11418) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001314)

Speakeasy appears to have blocked the "feature".

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001356)

I tried this for the first time ever, the resulting SiteFinder webpage seems quite useful and looks clean, but sure, I don't want to be tranfered to some site i wasn't looking for then i acidently type the wrong thing (a la microsoft internet explorer).
Anyway, it seems it's NOT blocked with bredbandbolaget, the swedish 10mbps isp. I've sent the technical support an email and asked them if they are thinking about it thought, we'll see what they answer.

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001385)

How long before we realize that all we have to do is send automated garbage requests.
A single request from your server and multiple Verisign resource (hard at work) only for you!

Who knows, maybe they are trying to log this to some database. ANALYZE THIS!

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (2, Informative)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001431)

It's blocked for me. The cable is provided by Time Warner, but the Internet connection by RoadRunner, so I'm assuming that RoadRunner is the one blocking it...

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001432)

Please reply to this and list names of fellow anti-VeriSign ISPs if your ISP has blocked this new "feature" as well.

Thanks! I will enjoy analyzing this data.

And I thought I needed to get laid...

Re:Most ISPs have blocked it (1, Informative)

Xenoproctologist (698865) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001436)

To be more specific, Adelphia has blocked the IP of the Shitefinder website. They haven't patched their DNS servers to return NXDOMAIN on *.TLD.

cybersquatting (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001195)

has been turned over in many legal battles, such as in cases where celebrities or companies sue to get to get their name from the cybersquatter party. I suspect VeriSign will be forced to terminate the feature.

and the IEFT now has an Internet-Draft (5, Informative)

shostiru (708862) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001197)

which I just found, draft-main-typo-wcard-02 [fysh.org] . Worth a look, as is the IETF mailing list archive [ietf.org] . They're definitely aware of the problem. I particularly like following paragraph from the Internet-Draft:
An error response that only works correctly in one situation would be as bad as an SMTP server that ignored its input and always produced a fixed sequence of responses: it would work in the one situation it was designed to expect, but cause chaos whenever presented with any other situation.
sounds like the Snubby Mail Rejector, hmm?

So this means.... (1)

John Paul Jones (151355) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001200)

We're on the side of the plaintiff?

It's a bad sign if you're cheering this on. Yes, VeriSign is completely wrong here, but the other party isn't to be lauded, either.

It's kinda like Carrot Top fighting Regis Philbin. Although Regis doesn't suddenly appear when I make a wrong turn.

Is it possible Verisign's move will be irrelevant? (4, Interesting)

JayBlalock (635935) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001203)

I was just thinking about this. At this point, pretty much the entire Internet has mobilized to counter their redirection trick. ISPs are getting filters installed, virus software is getting rewritten, ICANN will likely jump into the fray any time now.

At the rate things are going, in a couple weeks, no one will be able to get to their search engine site at all, whether they want to or not.

Someone probably deserves recompensation for the hassle, but it's looking like the Internet has proven resilient to even this "high level" attack.

Re:Is it possible Verisign's move will be irreleva (4, Insightful)

John Paul Jones (151355) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001238)

Someone probably deserves recompensation for the hassle, but it's looking like the Internet has proven resilient to even this "high level" attack.

At what cost? Routers are working harder, code has been introduced into core servers that has no technical reason to exist, and an IP address, or possibly a sizeable range of IP addresses are now blacklisted worldwide. Those IPs won't be usable for anything anymore, or at least until we see widespread adoption of IPv6. *cough*

What the Internet doesn't need is to become even less of an end-to-end transport, less reliable. And we did it to ourselves.

Re:Is it possible Verisign's move will be irreleva (4, Insightful)

JayBlalock (635935) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001284)

Oh, I'm not arguing that it doesn't suck and that Verisign didn't do a very, very naughty thing.

But at the same time, if you take a step back, the rapid mobillization of the response to this is VERY impressive, and the rate at which the Internet is reconfiguring itself to get rid of the trouble is quite amazing.

Remember, three days ago, people were moaning about how this would be a disaster, DNS would be broken, spam filters would be rendered impotent, etc etc.

I'm just saying that, objectively, if you look at this sort of like a body repelling a bacterial attack, the rate at which it's been countered is quite amazing, and shows how well the Internet is fundamentally put together.

Try this in I.E. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001204)

http://www.";alert("fuckverisign");".com

Re:Try this in I.E. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001277)

This is not just funny, it actually works!

Re:Try this in I.E. (1)

Sovern (631825) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001311)

How does that work? I'm not a novice, I just don't know anything!

BIND Patch (1)

ksuMacGyver (562019) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001212)

Check out http://dropline.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1472 If you use Slackware, don't like verisign's sitefinder, and run DNS.

Re:BIND Patch -- better link (1)

ksuMacGyver (562019) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001225)

Check out this [dropline.net] If you use Slackware, don't like verisign's sitefinder, and run DNS.

don't u love these spokespeople (4, Funny)

hansoloaf (668609) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001222)

VeriSign spokesperson Brian O'Shaughnessy said the company has not yet seen the lawsuit and that it doesn't comment on pending litigation."
They should just build an ASIMO robot in the mold of a spokesperson. There would be only 2 lines of code for the robot to speak out everytime they are contacted on a story: "The company has not seen the lawsuit." "No comment" Then we can skip the obligatory spokesperson quote in articles in the future as its' pretty much all they say nowdays.

Re:don't u love these spokespeople (3, Funny)

phauxfinnish (698087) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001378)

Then we can skip the obligatory spokesperson quote in articles in the future as its' pretty much all they say nowdays.
Unless you are a SCO spokesperson, then the story would go a little like this:
VeriSign spokesperson Brian O'Shaughnessy said that the company has discovered that ALL internet addresses belong to them and that everyone else is incroaching on their intellectual property. They are currently selling licenses to use their internet addresses for $699 per subdomain. Once the lawsuit begins, the price of these licenses are set to double to $1398 per subdomain. VeriSign requests that all domains be redirected to the SiteFinder address.


Questions reguarding such details as evidence to these claims, Mr. O'Shaughnessy stated, "will be released during the discovery phase of the trial." Until that time, VeriSign suggests that every domain registrant purchase a license, "just in case".

another annoying 'feature' of sitefinder (5, Interesting)

ApheX (6133) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001224)

My browsers - Firebird and IE both keep history for a few days. It used to be that when i accidentally typed something in and the domain could not be found that it wouldn't be in my history since it wouldn't resolve. Now - thanks to URL resolving my history is gradually starting to fill full of crap. So when im in a hurry and select something out of my history i sometimes end up getting a sitefinder page instead of what I was looking for. ARRRGH.

Verisign Sucks. They always have and always will.

Give them a break, they just want more hit (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001233)

and here I come to rescue

while true; do wget --delete-after http://sitefinder.verisign.com/ ; done

If we all do this everyday they'd be very happy and don't need to twist the DNS again! :)

Re:Give them a break, they just want more hit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001276)

I'm sure your dial up connection has their server at its knees.

Re:Give them a break, they just want more hit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001329)

Awh come on now, we can do better than that! Use the built-in distro-standard apache benchmark tool! ab -n1000 -c100 sitefinder.verisign.com/ That will send out 100 requests at once, 10 times. Might want to increase that number.... Anyway, its a good way to test your bandwidth...

Popular, eh? (1)

Anztac (322182) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001239)

Popular Enterprises, huh. I wonder if they thought it up before or after the bussiness plan?

Hello, Pot? This is kettle! (3, Insightful)

dacarr (562277) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001241)

This is a classic example of hypocrisy, but maybe this'll pay off.

Excellent; battle of the twits (2, Insightful)

bigberk (547360) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001245)

Note the various inaccuracies in the article. First, SiteFinder (despite its name) doesn't "search" for domain or anything; it is simply a wildcard that catches all lookups right on the COM and NET root servers. This is exceedingly simple to setup; there's no 'technology' involved.

Also, users of course do not get a 404 when a domain doesn't exist. The domain freakin' doesn't exist, so the DNS lookup itself fails (should get NXDOMAIN) and the browser reports an error in domain resolution.

But this is nice; I want to see all these leeches in the cybersquatting and "World Wide Web" enhancement business pitted against each other.

Don't badmouth Netster too bad (5, Informative)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001251)

Yes, it's semi-sleazy, but they don't cybersquat.

Timeline:

1997 or so: I registered tylereaves.com, mainly for use in e-mail

2000: I let the domain lapse, not really using it, and tired of paying $40 a year or so for it (Hey, registering was expensive in '97!)

200?: Netster becomes the owner of tylereaves.com

2003: I nicely ask for it back.
2003: I get my domain back. They didn't even charge me the trasnfer fees.

Someone at Network Solutions responded to me. (4, Interesting)

xenoweeno (246136) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001252)

I sent an email to various VeriSign addresses about their abuse. Somehow one of them got routed to a Network Solutions drone.

The drone informed me in a form letter that VeriSign's practices were "well within the guidelines" established by the document Domain Name System Wildcards in Top-Level Domain Zones [verisign.com] .

After deconstructing this, we are left with: VeriSign is within the guidelines of the document VeriSign wrote on the matter.

Uhm...

Re:Someone at Network Solutions responded to me. (4, Insightful)

Bronster (13157) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001369)

Wow, that document was published 10 days ago. That's best practices for you.

Notice that they only address HTTP and SMTP in the guidelines. I guess there really aren't any other protocols worth speaking of.

(https maybe? Hmm - I wonder what happens there)

Technical defense against hijacked domains (5, Informative)

ODBOL (197239) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001253)

This is a good time to look at Bob Frankston's dotDNS proposal [circleid.com] for a layer of reliable but meaningless domain names. dotDNS lookups can be made self-verifiable using public-key signatures, but without the costly chain of trust required by DNSSEC methods. The validity of a dotDNS binding can be verified easily by the querier, without relying at all on the server that provided the putative binding.

dotDNS does not solve the whole problem, since any layer that translates from humanly meaningful names to dotDNS names is still vulnerable to hijacking. But the reliable and verifiable name bindings in dotDNS will make it *much* easier to switch name-resolution services when we are dissatisfied with their policies.

dotDNS is a cheap and immediately deployable positive step toward fixing the DNS mess, requiring no approval by any central agency. It's time for a visionary sponsor to step forward and just do it.

From the... (1)

lord_paladine (568885) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001254)

from the to-all-good-things dept.

more like "from the just-rewards detpt."

Re:From the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001336)

I was thinking "well-that-didn't-take-long"...

I'm not surprised... (5, Funny)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001260)

Their new ad campaign with naked women [verisign.com] went too far in my opinion. They were basically asking to be sued. Didn't they think about the children [ala.org] ?

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

j0hnn135 (708869) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001379)

That link looks like some XSS to me. Can any web-app-sec folks confirm? Oh yeah, and down with the twits at Verisign

Electronic Communication Privacy Act (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001270)

The Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA) [usiia.org] provides that "any person who intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication; . . .shall be punished as provided in subsection (4) or shall be subject to suit as provided in subsection (5).

wherein, "intercept" means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device;

The ECPA also provides that "In a civil action under this section, appropriate relief includes--(1) such preliminary and other equitable or declaratory relief as may be appropriate;(2) damages under subsection (c); and (3) a reasonable attorney's fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

Damages.--The court may assess as damages in a civil action under this section the sum of the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff and any profits made by the violator as a result of the violation, but in no case shall a person entitled to recover receive less than the sum of $1,000.

Seems like a good case can be that emails to mistyped addresses are being intercepted by Verisign. Certainly, the emails where not intended to be sent to Verisign, and they appear to be collecting some information from the email (the from address).

When will people learn? (3, Insightful)

dmiller (581) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001274)

The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. Domain and typosquatters are the near bottom of the barrel, just a rung above spammers. Just because they are attacking another bottom-feeder does not make them heros.

Verisign delusional (5, Interesting)

SnowWolf2003 (692561) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001282)

In this article on on CNET [com.com] O'Shaughnessy said "the service has been embraced by end users. "We've seen nothing but very positive results from the Internet community," he said. "Usage is extraordinary. Both individual users and enterprises are giving very positive feedback."

So they are attributing a slashdotting, and a lot of media interest to people being positive about the service. I haven't seen one article, comment or anything that was even remotely positive. What are these guys on?

He also claims they are fully compliant with every RFC. I don't see how this is possible, unless they have found some loophole.

Re:Verisign delusional (3, Insightful)

j0hnn135 (708869) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001395)

It's called PR spin.... and yes it sucks.

As far as the RFCs go, maybe the internet architects never thought of this abuse.

Does cybersquatting still work? (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001286)

I run a student quotes website at student.profquotes.com. I'd like to register studentquotes.com but it's in the hands of a cybersquatter. There's no way I'd consider buying it from them, and I doubt anyone else is more likely to want the domain. If I really wanted another domain for studentquotes badly enough, there's too many variations for cybersquatters to be a problem; other TLDs or hyphens already give enough alternatives that it would cost more to register them all than the squatter is asking for studentquotes.com.

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

It might be a good service if it were a service (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001294)

I showed my mother this and she was saying "I don't see the problem"
But she was pulling this up on her PDA
"What if it didn't work on your PDA?"
If my website were to look up some data on a website with an expired domain it could get an error telling it the website dose not exist or it could get sightfinder.

Now this is a great idea that could be done quite well at the ISP level. Modify bind to do the task automaticly if you like or offer users a list of possabilitys.

But if say AT&T wanted to set up this for mlife costummers they'd have a problem as they'd get sitefinder instead.

What's to keep sitefinder from becomming an IE only service? or if they wanted they could say "Mozilla only".
Picture it, Microsoft pays them to lock out non-Windows users and then AoL locks out all Non-Netscape users.

As much as I hate the internal IE error messages what if Microsoft wanted to do this same service and do this as an internal IE message redirecting to Microsofts portal?
And if Google wanted to they could add this to the Google toolbar they could bypass Microsofts little portal but they can't change the way the Internet works and as it works right now if Microsoft, Goggle or AT&T provided this service it would be shut out becouse invalid domain names are resolved to be sitefinder.

I'd have less of a problem (3, Interesting)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001302)

If putting in

www.icarusindi.com

would list

www.icarusindie.com

as a suggested site. But it doesn't. It lists a number of domains that are off quite a few letters more than 1.

If it were at least making an intelligent attempt at getting the user where they wanted to go it could be argued that it is at least useful. Microsoft's search that comes up when you get a DNS error on some domain names is excellent about getting you where you actually wanted to go.

Verisign either gives a half assed attempt at correcting the user or deliberatly ignores domains that aren't registered through them. Despite the fact they get money regardless of who you register through.

Now we just need a credible plaintiff. Preferably a class action suit to maximize damages.

Ben

blah (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001307)

you cant support evil for evil. end of story.

The Lesser of Two Evils? (1)

Black Mage Balthazar (708812) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001313)

Let's see, in this corner we have the mega corporation everyone loves to hate, up against a shady company performing a "service" that domain wanting people loath. Where does one put the money?

Right... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001319)

So if we're really lucky, just as the guilty verdict is being read, with the upper level management of both companies present...that asteroid that everyone said was going to destroy civilization twelve years from now, will crash in down on the courthouse, ionizing not only the leadership of both companies, but several ragged hordes of killer attack lawyers as well.

Then when the press questions the astronomers on how their orbital calculations could have been so wrong, the astronomers (being the clever guys they are) will say, "but are calculations were right!" and then erupt in maniacal laughter.

I for one welcome our new...[looks up at the sky]...never mind, I didn't start to say anything. Nope, nothing at all.

Florida?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001320)

Can they find anyone who'll understand the technical aspects of the lawsuit?

But really, they should sue in Silicon Valley, where you're likely to get at least one PhD on the jury, and several technophiles (geeks) who will understand what Verisign has done.

Why not pull out all the stops? Go CLASS ACTION (1)

dankdirk77 (690855) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001328)

You know, have one of those Trial Lawyers sue them for $100,000,000 and then give everyone in the U.S. who's been 'squatted a $5 coupon. Granted, it would only serve to hurt Verisign.

BTW, has someone made a comprehensive list of all the tech companies pulling bullsh*t nowa days? There's a lot of people I need to remember I'm pissed at.

Null space needs to remain null (5, Insightful)

mabu (178417) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001346)

First off, the idea that Verisign can appropriate unregistered domains represents a huge conflict of interest with its management of the TLDs. Nobody should be able to reassign IPs for non-registered domains. This undermines the whole system, which has facilities to address this situation.

The fact that ICANN didn't block this move is further evidence than this organization is totally useless and political.

Along the same vein, I disagree with MS's misleading implementation of the IP-not-found error page to redirect users to their proprietary search engine.

The Internet community should rally against any entity that seeks to appropriate undefined address space for their own gain.

If Verisign is allowed to do this, what we're likely to see is each major ISP and browser manufacturer follow suit and hijack undefined space to promote their own systems.

Imagine if you dialed a wrong number on the telephone and you got an advertisement for the phone company. What if local broadcasters bombarded all the unused frequency spectrum with their own promotions.

This has less to do with Verisign than it does to protect the sanctity of null space.

It makes me wonder if someone has a patent on silence yet?

Re:Null space needs to remain null (4, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001416)

"It makes me wonder if someone has a patent on silence yet?"

No, there's too much prior art, but John Cage has a copyright on 4'33" of it.

KFG

MOD Parent Up (1)

Wylie Coyote (257347) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001426)

Exactly!

BIND patch available to block site finder (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001371)

The Internet Software Consortium (ICS), which makes the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) software (runs most domain name servers) has already released a patch to block "site finder":
http://www.isc.org/products/BIND/delegation-only.h tml [isc.org]
I just still can't believe Verisign thought they could get away with this.

Note to self (3, Funny)

curtlewis (662976) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001394)

Companies to boycott:

SCO (need you ask?)
Verisign (screwed by em long before this)
SBC (for not blocking Verisign)
Microsoft (ya just gotta)
RIAA (You don't sue your customers. Solve the problem!)
Sun (for the abomination called Java)
Gray Davis (because he DOES suck)
Cruz Bustamante (Don't give him a CHANCE to suck)

Note to self:
Get more RAM for Notes to self

In other news... (1)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001396)

Son of Sam sues Ted Bundy for "copping his gig".

Can't we just do to the cyber-squatters the same thing we did to Bundy? Can we do it to whomever coined the term "cyber-squatter"?

link with more info... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001409)

More info can be found here:

http://www.popluarenterpirses.com/ [popluarenterpirses.com]

Blacklist Verisign's IPs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#7001418)

Does anyone have a list of IP's / IP blocks that Verisign owns? I am going to set up my firewall to not allow any traffic to or from them.

All of them.

I suggest you do the same if you feel strongly about this.

Verisign, so you want every non-existent domain to resolve to your IPs'? I'm going to give you the opposite. Not only will nothing go to your SiteFinder service, but all your *real* domains like verisign.com will be cut off too.

Its time to go.

sitefinder can't find verisignsucks.com (4, Interesting)

consumer (9588) | more than 11 years ago | (#7001434)

Has anyone else noticed this? It returns a sitefinder page immediately for blahblahsucks.com, but nada for verisignsucks.com.
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