Last updated 14/05/2005
Copyright 1999 - 2004, Sandra Hardmeier, All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Spyware Home Page

 

Bow down all of you who have come before

The King of Hijackers has arrived!!

Lay down your arms you search engines, give up your BHOs

Be banished to the Search Pane

Autosearch is theirs

VERSIGN shall own your COM and your NET

No other shall remain

 

Note: Updates are at the end of the page.

 

Verisign says, as per their own document available at http://www.verisign.com/resources/gd/sitefinder/implementation.pdf  (I have a copy if it should disappear)

 

"VeriSign's Site finder service improves the user web browsing experience when the user has submitted a query for a non-existent second-level domain name in the .com or .net top-level domains.  Before this service was implemented, when a user entered a URL containing a nonexistent (eg., unregistered) domain name ending in .com or .net, his or her web browser returned an error message that contained no useful information.  With the rollout of Site Finder, in the same situation users now receive a helpful web page offering links to possible intended destinations and allowing an Internet search." [My emphasis]

 

The 'recommendations' referenced in above PDF can be found here (written by a Verisign guy):
http://www.verisign.com/resources/gd/sitefinder/bestpractices.pdf

 

EDITORIAL

The above is bullshit.  Up until now, if we got a web address wrong one of two things would happen; the "page cannot be displayed" error embedded in shdoc*.dll would appear, or a search engine that WE chose would come into play, whether it be MSN or AOL Search, Google or Netscape Search, Infospace or LookSmart, Yahoo or Altavista, Ask Jeeves or Overture or Findwhat.

 

Frankly, I consider Verisign's actions to be NO BETTER than any other search engine hijacker.  We have lost our right to choose which search engine we will use for autosearch.

 

Remember - you can choose your operating system, you can choose to avoid Microsoft if you want to and use Linux or a Mac. You CANNOT choose to avoid Verisign easily - they are the FINAL AUTHORITY for COM and NET addresses.

 

The groundswell of complaints is already starting - see:

http://s1.web.community.net.uk/verisign/wildcard.htm

and

http://www.iab.org/Documents/icann-vgrs-response.html

and

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/16/0034210

and

http://rss.com.com/2100-1032_3-5077530.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=news&foo=VeriSign%20redirects%20error%20pages%2009-17

 

PETITIONS

http://www.petitiononline.com/verisign/

http://smokey.rhs.com/web/blog/rhs.nsf/stories/VerisignPetition

http://www.petitiononline.com/icanndns/

 

ISPS are rebelling, including several UK ISPs and NTL, patching their servers to bypass the Verisign "Site Finder" service :o)

 

A discussion about "wildcards" as used by Verisign

http://www.iab.org/documents/docs/2003-09-20-dns-wildcards.html

 

Update - 4 October 2003

Verisign have agreed to 'temporarily' remove its wildcard entries after pressure from ICANN (translation: ICANN got out a big stick and whacked Verisign on the knuckles - Good On Em!! I say)

 

The Letter:

http://www.icann.org/correspondence/twomey-to-lewis-03oct03.htm

 

URLs:

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID=3555798

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/031003/sff057_1.html

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/10/03/verisign.icann.reut/index.html

 

Update: 22 February 2004

The 'temporary' removal of Sitefinder continues.  A search of the Verisign site shows no obvious developments. Let's hope the darned thing stays dead.  Verisign's links re Sitefinder are as per below:
http://www.verisign.com/nds/naming/sitefinder/index.html

 

Update: 28 February 2004

Oh well, so much for wishing.  Verisign is suing ICANN in California:

http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/business/0,39023166,39116335,00.htm

 

Update: 22 May, 2004

Verisign's legal argument with ICANN is not going well - they have to re-file their suit against ICANN by 7 June.  The Judge called Verisign's suit "awfully vague".  Verisign's attorney, Ronald L Johnston, say they will amend their complaint and re-file.