If you’re looking to register a domain name, you might want to stay away from EstDomains
. ICANN, the net’s authority over domain names is ready to pull the plug
on this Estonia-based seller of domain names. Security experts have long accused EstDomains of being a refuge for cyber criminals for years.
On Tuesday, ICANN told EstDomains that it was revoking its accreditation since it learned the company’s president had been convicted of online credit card fraud and money laundering in February. In a notice, ICANN said that it was freezing EstDomains' ability to register new domain names and looking to transfer 281,000 domain names that are currently under EstDomains’ management.
ICANN put the action on hold Wednesday after EstDomains’ immediate appeal, in which the company claimed it had already removed Vladimir Tsastin, the former CEO, on June 25th, and just didn’t tell ICANN. According to the new CEO, Konstontin Poltev, the company had decided to remove Tsastin before the conviction, but didn’t do so because of “judicial aspects
Tsastin is appealing his "unjust" conviction to the Supreme Court, which means the previous verdict is canceled until a ruling is made. Regardless, Trend Micro researcher Paul Ferguson hopes ICANN finds a way to revoke EstDomains' accreditation: "I personally hope ICANN finds some reason to terminate their accreditation, even if it is a Breach of Contract for failure to correct bogus WHOIS information, as they did with Joker," Ferguson said, referring to ICANN's decision in September to revoke the license of a Chinese domain name company that allowed fake information to be used to register domain names. "There has been demonstrable evidence for several years that Russian and Ukrainian criminals have used EstDomains services -- and even preferred to use them -- and I am hard-pressed to believe that EstDomains did not have explicit knowledge of their operations."