[ISN] Whois Deadspammer.com? (Domains on Disk followup)

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Sep 24 1998 - 18:01:10 PDT

  • Next message: mea culpa: "[ISN] Human errors leave systems vulnerable, not faulty firewalls"

    Forwarded From: phreak moi <hackereliteat_private>
    Whois Deadspammer.com?
    by James Glave
    4:40 p.m.  24.Sep.98.PDT
    An Internet marketing firm deep-sixed plans to sell the contents of its
    Internet domain-name database after furious netizens crippled the
    company's network and threatened more serious action. 
    "People from all over the world threatened that they would kill us, sue
    us, or do worse," said John DeUlloa, marketing consultant for Domains on
    Disc. "It is amazing how the Internet, if it really wanted to, could
    prevent a product or a service from either going online or staying
    The ruckus began earlier this week when reports emerged on mailing lists
    and in the media that Domains on Disk was selling the entire contents of
    the "whois"  database. 
    Maintained by the Internet Network Information Center, the database
    contains contact information -- such as names, phone numbers, and emails
    -- for millions of Internet domain-name owners.  The information is public
    but is intended for use by network administrators. 
    That changed when a spam suggesting that the database could be used by
    direct marketers hit mailboxes across the Net earlier this week. 
    "You may now email offers for your products/services to 100,000's of
    prospects for pennies... GUERRILLA MARKETING AT ITS FINEST!" read the
    One network administrator said she "freaked out" when she saw the message,
    fearing that she would start to receive unsolicited commercial email at
    her work account. 
    "The whois database is not for direct marketing," said Andrea Di Lecce, a
    Canadian network manager working for a large Internet access company. "Its
    purpose is to offer contacts for a domain." 
    Domains on Disk did not send the spam, which originated in the San Diego
    area, said DeUlloa, "Anyone can do that." 
    The product was never intended for use as a mass email list by spammers,
    he added. 
    "Ultimately, it was done for marketing,"  said DeUlloa, who explained that
    its intended use was for demographic research for direct mail campaigns. 
    A message on the company's Web site signaled the end of the episode on
    Tuesday: "Due to the overwhelming amount of e-mail that we have received,
    Domains on Disc has decided to indefinitely suspend the sale of this
    The company had expected to sell 10,000 copies of Domains on Disc for
    US$249 each, said DeUlloa. "This thing would have done very, very well.
    But you can't put a price tag on someone's life, or well being." 
    Di Lecce had a different perspective.  "The lesson is simple: The Internet
    is a somewhat free medium, but that does not mean that you can go ahead
    and do whatever you want." 
    Subscribe: mail majordomoat_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Repent Security Incorporated [www.repsec.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:05:42 PDT