Re: Many Domains Registered With False Data

Posted by Zonk on Thursday December 08, @01:01PM

> from the seekrit-webmaster-conspiracy dept. > bakotaco writes "According to research carried out by the US > Government Accountability Office (GAO) many domain owners are hiding > their true identity. The findings could mean that many websites are > fronts for spammers, phishing gangs and other net criminals. The > report also found that measures to improve information about domain > owners were not proving effective." From the article: "The GAO took > 300 random domain names from each of the .com, .org and .net > registries and looked up the centrally held information about their > owners. Any user can look up this data via one of the many whois sites > on the net. The report found that owner data for 5.14% of the domains > it looked at was clearly fake as it used phone numbers such as (999) > 999-9999; listed nonsense addresses such as 'asdasdasd' or used > invalid zip codes such as 'XXXXX'. In a further 3.65% of domain owner > records data was missing or incomplete in one or more fields." > To discuss this matter further, please go to: >
formatting link
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: As the official Keeper of the Records, > ICANN was asked for a comment on this report, but they refused any > discussion of it. PAT]

"Figures don't lie, but liars can figure." The last line of the cited report is a particularly egregious example of this. One of the domain owner fields is a for a 'fax' number for contact. If you don't have a fax then, *of*course*, that field is going to be 'incomplete' -- or filled with some registrar 'default', recognizably *invalid*, data -- e.g. (000) 000-000, or (999) 999-999. The '5.14%' number is similarly suspect, _if_ the 'phone numbers' examined include the 'fax phone number' field.

And, unless the GAO restricted the check to domains registered to addresses in the USA, 'defective' and/or 'missing' *ZIPCODE* data is to be expected. Even Canada doesn't have _ZIP_ codes. that said, I figure that this one is a gratuitous error on the part of the person writing the review of the GAO report, rather than a procedural flaw in the GAO analysis.

That said, I expect the GAO report did find evidence of real problems in the registration process. Too much 'trust', and not enough '*trust*but* *verify*'. For U.S.A. based addresses, there is simply no excuse for accepting a registration where the street address and "postal code" do not match. The USPS has an on-line look-up tool where the full ZIP+4 can looked up for any particular address. Now, admittedly, some addresses may have multiple ZIP+4 codes -- e.g. my building has distinct zip+4 for each of several groups of residents, _and_ a 'catch all' ZIP+4 that is valid for any address in the building. I think there may be yet another '+4' that identifies 'some/any building on this block'.

A number of other countries have similar publicly accessible tools for validating addresses, postal codes, and/or the combination thereof.

The fact that registration services do -not- make use of things like that to make even a 'minimal' attempt to keep the database 'clean'

*is* an outrage, and an abomination, no doubt about it.
Reply to
Robert Bonomi
Loading thread data ... Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.