ICANN delays shutting down spammy Estonian registrar

The overseer of the Internet's addressing system said on Wednesday it will delay shutting down a dodgy Estonian hosting company pending a review.

The overseer of the Internet's addressing system said on Wednesday it will delay shutting down a dodgy Estonian domain registrar pending a review.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) sent a letter to EstDomains on Tuesday saying it would revoke the company's accreditation effective Nov. 12 and move the 281,000 domains under its management to another registrar.

ICANN's regulations allow it to revoke a registrar's accreditation if an executive of the company has been convicted of certain felonies or misdemeanors. EstDomain's president, Vladimir Tsastsin, was convicted of credit card fraud, money laundering and document forgery in an Estonian court on Feb. 6, ICANN said.

EstDomains is now claiming Tsastsin resigned as president in June and further that his conviction is on appeal to Estonia's Supreme Court.

In a letter faxed to ICANN on Wednesday, CEO Konstantin Poltev wrote that EstDomains did not think it was required to notify ICANN of the executive changes under its agreement. EstDomains is pushing to keep its accreditation and included a document showing Tsastsin's resignation dated June 24. ICANN said it needs more time to analyze the claims.

Tsastsin's legal troubles are just a curious a sideshow for a company that has been accused supporting spammers and other cybercrime.

A study published in August by several security experts found that dozens of domain names registered by EstDomains were hosted by Intercage, a California hosting company that has come under fire for allowing scammers to operate on its network.

Intercage, which has also done business under the name Atrivo, was knocked offline in late September after peering partners that carried its traffic cut off service due to the problems.

Those experts concluded that as many as 78 percent of the domains and mail servers on Intercage's network were hostile. Many of the domain names registered by EstDomains were linked to spam that advertised fake luxury goods or pharmaceuticals.

Other Web sites hosted fake codecs and were teeming with malware, the white paper said.

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Jeremy Kirk

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