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The Internet The Almighty Buck

Resolving Everything: VeriSign Adds Wildcards 1291

Posted by timothy
from the gotcha dept.
DragonHawk writes "As of a little while ago (it is around 7:45 PM US Eastern on Mon 15 Sep 2003 as I write this), VeriSign added a wildcard A record to the .COM and .NET TLD DNS zones. The IP address returned is 64.94.110.11, which reverses to sitefinder.verisign.com. What that means in plain English is that most mis-typed domain names that would formerly have resulted in a helpful error message now results in a VeriSign advertising opportunity. For example, if my domain name was 'somecompany.com,' and somebody typed 'soemcompany.com' by mistake, they would get VeriSign's advertising." Read on below for some more information.

"(VeriSign is a company which purchased Network Solutions, another company which was given the task by the US government of running the .COM and .NET top-level domains (TLDs). VeriSign has been exploiting the Internet's DNS infrastructure ever since.)

This will have the immediate effect of making network trouble-shooting much more difficult. Before, a mis-typed domain name in an email address, web browser, or other network configuration item would result in an obvious error message. You might not have known what to do about it, but at least you knew something was wrong. Now, though, you will have to guess. Every time.

Some have pointed out that this will make an important anti-spam check impossible. A common anti-spam measure is to check and make sure the domain name of the sender really exists. (While this is easy to force, every little bit helps.) Since all .COM and .NET domain names now exist, that anti-spam check is useless.

VeriSign has published white papers about their implementation and also made some recommendations."

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Resolving Everything: VeriSign Adds Wildcards

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