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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Unclassifiable (rare) Forged 'ICANN' Warning E-mail Sent to Registrar(s)
    posted by michael on Thursday May 10 2001, @02:16PM

    A registrar has sent ICANNWatch a copy of an apparently genuine message from ICANN General Counsel Louis Touton warning registrars that someone is sending around a forged e-mail message warning registrars about selling preferential access to expired domain names. The forged message purports to be from Dan Halloran, ICANN's Chief Registrar Liaison. Full text of the warning, and of the forgery, inside.

    Meanwhile, I have it on good authority that someone is indeed going around offering registrars money for the kind of preferential access described in the forgery. So there are two issues here: who is forging the emails (potentially a criminal offense in some jurisdictions)? And, if registrars indeed are selling preferential access rights, what should or could ICANN do about it?

    Full text of the warning:

    Subject: [registrar-announce] Forged ICANN Email Alert
    Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 16:38:08 -0700
    From: registrar-announce@icann.org
    To: "ICANN Registrar Announcement List"

    Dear Registrars,

    Within the past 24 hours, at least one registrar has received a forged e-mail that purports to be from ICANN, but is not. This incident was not caused by any of ICANN's systems; it was just a simple forged e-mail, apparently from a user at global.net.uk [].

    The message was sent at or about 02:57:09 GMT on Thursday, May 10, 2001. The text of the forged message was as follows:

    ***********************START FORGED MESSAGE***********************

    To whom it may concern,

    After numerous complaints and an investigation, we have found that there are 2 or more individuals who are paying your company thousands of dollars, whether outright or under the table, for special privileges on "grabbing" expired domain names when they are released to the public for re-registration.

    We also have reason to believe that 1 or more of these individuals are including coding in their scripts/programs that make it appear as they are the registrar themselves.

    This is against the terms set forth in the registrar accreditation and the registrar policy.
    Any violation of these terms can and will result in immediate cancellation of all your registrar privileges.

    We will be monitoring your registry for the next 60 days. If this continues, all your registrar privileges can and will be terminated immediately. This is considered a courtesy notice. We will contact [*_registrar name redacted_*] directly if this problem continues.

    We know most registrars are being scripted during the release of expired domain names. We have no problem with this. We simply do not and will not allow special privileges for "paying" members.

    There is no need to respond to this email. If this problem persists, we will be contacting you.

    Thanks for your cooperation.
    Dan Halloran
    Icann Chief Registrar Liaison

    ************************END FORGED MESSAGE************************

    Dan Halloran did not send this message, as is apparent by examining the message's full header. It is possible to determine that a message was most likely legitimately sent from ICANN by reviewing the message headers and confirming that the message was sent through "mailhub.icann.org".

    Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of any communication from ICANN, please feel free to call or send a confirming message directly to the purported sender of the original message.

    Best regards,

    Louis Touton

    [To respond, or start a new comment thread, click the "Send Your Comment" button in the yellow box to the right.]

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    Forged 'ICANN' Warning E-mail Sent to Registrar(s) | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 3 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Forged 'ICANN' Warning E-mail Sent to Registra
    by tlr (reversethis-{gro.tsixe-ton-seod} {ta} {relsseor}) on Friday May 11 2001, @01:26AM (#583)
    User #34 Info | http://log.does-not-exist.org/
    Maybe it's time for ICANN to use PGP for signing announcements. Investigating Received headers is a nice thing, but certainly not bullet-proof...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Forged 'ICANN' Warning E-mail Sent to Registra
    by joppenheimer on Friday May 11 2001, @06:16AM (#584)
    User #5 Info | http://JudithOppenheimer.com
    This is typical TM owner behavior. When 866 toll free codes were released, one prominent marketer sent a combination demand/award letter to all RespOrgs demanding their list of preferred 866's be captured and assigned to them. (They threatened trademark infringement attack, even though that doesn't exist in toll free.)

    There's also a site - http://www.my866.com - that makes this (illegal) offer as a service.


    p.s. The dates on the my866 site are inaccurate. Note as well that they've appropriated the "squatter" strategy to capture tm business.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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