Bank squatter denies hoaxmail; more sites ready to launch

Originators of the squatted URL that provoked Westpac Banking Corporation into calling in the Australian Federal Police have posted a blog denying involvement in the circulation of a hoax e-mail at the centre of the dispute.

The hoax mail resulted in a news agency and a national newspaper running stories wrongly claiming that the bank's Web site had been "hijacked".

The squatted URL (based on the Westpac brand name) now says: "There has been a security warning dealing with Australia's "Westpac" bank site for some time now -- but such is not related to this site, or any of my 'operations',"… adding that "the security warning on Westpac's own site is (That it seems to be unaware of, is Westpac's own doing, and shows their level of competence and/or wisdom - not mine!)" sic.

A directory of other ready-to-squat financial business domain name sites has also found its way into the public domain, although most are yet to be registered. The list includes sites aimed at AGC Finance and the ANZ Bank suggesting that squatter may be of antipodean origin.

The sites also contain unfavourable references to interest rates, call centre staff and the treatment of employees as well as a warning to a "CEO dude". Levels of coherence differ.

The sites are hosted out of www.nz2.com, which features highly suspicious animated GIFs of sheep and the text " In Dunedin is the girl I love".

Computerworld has attempted to contact the holder of the domain, so far without success.

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Julian Bajkowski

Computerworld
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