Brand owners do have options when it comes to cybersquatting

Following the shutdown of several sites recently that was selling fraudulent and counterfeit goods, claims have been made that options do remain for brand owners.

Trend Micro's senior security advisor Rik Ferguson claimed that the shutting down of the websites was a ‘stopgap measure at best or maybe a waste of time', but Rodney Joffe, senior vice president and senior technologist of Neustar, claimed that registry operations do a good job on staying on top of requests to pull websites down.

However when a fraudulent process occurs, they will take action on suspending the domains and make sure that they do not get used.

Joffe said: “It cannot be re-launched if it hosted malware and it cannot be re-launched in the pool. If there is any possibility of that, it will not happen that way.”

Charlie Abrahams, vice president and general manager EMEA at MarkMonitor, claimed that the best option for a brand owner is to ask the ISP to stop hosting the website, but if the owner is smart they will move the website to an ISP locale where they are less concerned about fraud.

Abrahams said: “You can go to Nominet and say you want to suspend it and they will take the IP address ‘off the air'. Nominet is the main registry of .co.uk, so if someone got a stack of counterfeit goods they will not just have one site, they will have pre-bought sites with different names and also, if they are really smart, they will register them in locales where they are more ‘fraud friendly'. They will put the same site up but host it on a different domain and on servers where the law is less prevalent.

“We would following it all over the world literally, but the problem is that it is so hard to keep up so you chase them relentlessly and hunt them down over a period of weeks. Or instead of that, they will work with a brand that is less desirable than Ugg boots in this case. We have customers who have chased websites relentlessly but the brand owners who are really determined make it really hard for them.”

However Joffe said: “The problem is you play ‘whack a mole' if you ask them to stop hosting it, and if you look back at the malware community there is pressure to get hosters to stop hosting, you get more vectors and as a process the right thing is to stop hosting and get the registrees to stop hosting, you make it difficult all of the time.”

Sign up to our newsletters