The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has terminated its contract with the widely criticized domain registrar, EstDomains.  For those who don't know, EstDomains is an Estonian company registered as a United States Corporation in Delaware and their business provided domain names and web hosting services worldwide.

The problems began when EstDomains facilitated the creation of domains used by criminals mostly for the purpose of "Rogue Security Software" sites and similar malware related campaigns.  To learn more about Rogue Security Software Campaigns, please see the following post entitled "Anatomy of a Rogue Security Campaign". Online criminals were easily able to purchase domains anonymously to later be used in their malicious campaigns.

The problems continued when ICANN was made aware that the CEO of EstDomains, Vladimir Tsastsin, was convicted of forgery, credit card fraud, and money laundering. These cyber-crime related convictions violated the ICANN contract which specifically stated that ICANN may terminate the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) before its expiration when, "Any officer or director of [a] Registrar is convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor related to financial activities, or is adjudged by a court to have committed fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, or is the subject of judicial determination that ICANN deems as the substantive equivalent of any of these; provided such officer or director is not removed in such circumstances.”  You may see the official ICANN site for more information.

Although this does mark a small victory, it does not mean that the malicious sites and "Rogue Security Software" attacks will stop, as they are likely to continue because of the profitability factor.  The criminals are already starting to find new domain registrars to invade and we are actively monitoring them to protect our customers.