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Study Reveals How ISPs Responded to SiteFinder 172

Posted by michael
from the routing-around-verisign dept.
penciling_in writes "During the 2+ weeks for which Site Finder was operational, a number of ISPs took steps to disable the service. A study just released reveals the details and analysis, including specific networks disabling Site Finder during its operational period. For example, the study reports China blocked the traffic at its backbone, and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom and Korea's DACOM also disabled the service. US ISPs have been slower to act, but US ISP Adelphia disabled the service September 20-22 before re-enabling it on September 23." That link is a summary; or cut straight to the study itself.
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Study Reveals How ISPs Responded to SiteFinder

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  • by Sir Haxalot (693401) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @12:48PM (#7154201)
    here [newsfactor.com]
  • Adelphia? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Qwell (684661) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @12:54PM (#7154277)
    US ISP Adelphia disabled the service September 20-22
    No, they did not, at least not nationwide. I was checking it literally everyday. It kept screwing with my DNS requests. Unless they mean those 4 hours I was offline on the 22nd, they did not disable sitefinder on my dns servers.
  • Umm (Score:3, Informative)

    by ad0gg (594412) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @01:00PM (#7154367)
    2. That Site Finder pages are larger than ordinary error messages and therefore slower and more costly to transmit. "Cannot find server or DNS Error" is not a page that a server sends back since there is no server in the loop. Its clientside generated page.
  • by gregmac (629064) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @01:09PM (#7154457) Homepage
    I guess my provider didn't use verisign in the first place?

    No, everyone "uses" verisign. They control the database for the gTLDs .com and .net, so all nameservers everywhere on the internet listen to them. When a nameserver tries to resolve a name, it first goes to the root nameservers (A.ROOT-SERVERS.NET, B.ROOT-SERVERS.NET, etc. There's 13 of them. I believe verisign runs two of those, ISC (people that make BIND) run one, I'm not sure who else does). Verisign basically controls what those servers do. They added a wildcard entry for *.com - anything that's not specifically picked up by a registered domain will be connected to their sitefinder server.

    We are an Educational Institution though, so that could be the reason.

    Likely they just blocked it very quickly.

  • by sharekk (654035) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @01:22PM (#7154597)
    not suprising - I believe the page not found response is generally viewed in the browser's language while sitefinder was english only.
  • by shepd (155729) <slashdot,org&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @01:54PM (#7154901) Homepage Journal
    >While it may be very unfair business practice for Verisign to do this, we didn't see any reason to disable it.

    I can give you one reason:

    All your mail with mistyped domains has been "rejected" (probably read by a marketing bot) by verisign.

    That's gotta be worth at _least_ blacklisting the IP, never mind messing with the DNS servers.
  • Adelphia (Score:2, Informative)

    by brokencomputer (695672) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @01:58PM (#7154953) Homepage Journal
    Adelphia did block the service, meaning the site would not load when bonus addresses were entered into the browser, but when pinging bogus internet addresses, A pong came back from the numerical IP of the sitefinder. When going to sitefinder.verisign.com, it was not blocked.
  • by rbird76 (688731) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @02:05PM (#7155021)
    I pay Verisign to register a .com domain. Sitefinder comes along and points people trying to find my domain to a variety of businesses, some of which are my competitors. I don't have access to their rankings, so I can't redirect people unless I buy the potential misspelled sites from Verisign; otherwise, they have effectively built a bypass around my domain (which I paid them for). Verisign took money from domain holders and then devalued what it sold for its own benefit. As a bonus, the means it used to devalue their property it also didn't own - the unregistered domain names are community property. Essentially, it charged domain holders for advertising, then put up signs on public property advertising competitors.

    Had Verisign wanted to help users, it could have done so in other ways, some of which would not have broken a working RFC standard or the servers of lots of people. In addition, as stated in previous threads, the searcher is not even as good as Microsoft's similar feature; thus Verisign's "help" is worse than that most users were already receiving. That seems to indicate that help for users was not a priority for SiteFinder - rather the opportunity for free advertising (and the lack of tangible worth of the trust they violated) led Verisign to conclude that this was a good idea.

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