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NASK terminates agreement with one of its partners

NASK effectively blocked operations of several tens of domains used to distribute malicious programs and spam. At the same time, the NASK research institute decided to terminate with an immediate effect the agreement with the company Domain Silver Inc. that was responsible for handling dangerous internet addresses. The performed actions are the next step for the institute on the path to guard internet users against online threats.

Domain Silver, Inc. consequently violated all rules of cooperation and creation of the transparent and safe internet environment. The company did not publish on its website comprehensive information on the ability to use the services regarding registration and maintenance of the .pl domain names, and failed to provide this information even when requested to do so by NASK. This prevented potential .pl domain name subscribers from getting to know the regulatory requirements. Moreover, since May 2013 the Domain Silver Inc.'s website has been inactive. Also, from December 2012 the CERT Polska team operating under NASK started to receive reports regarding distribution of SPAM mail, malicious programs and sales of pharmaceuticals of unknown origin through domain names handled by Domain Silver, Inc. Observing the best market practices, NASK set a deadline for Domain Silver Inc. to commence all actions, including legal measures, necessary to cease the use of .pl domain names for distribution of malicious software. Repeated user reports regarding the use of domain names as well as analyses performed by NASK on its own confirmed that the NASK's request had been ignored. Additionally, the CERT Polska team identified at least 16 botnets making use of the above domains, belonging to various families of malicious software, such as Citadel, ZeuS Ice IX, Dorkbot, Andromeda and RunForestRun. Those botnets intercepted access information of network users and were also used to steal money from the victims' bank accounts.

Such unambiguous state of affairs caused NASK to make an unprecedented decision to terminate with an immediate effect the agreement with its partner, Domain Silver Inc., a company registered in the Republic of Seychelles, because the company gives no guaranty to observe the rules of operation of the .pl domain register, specified in the agreement and the Regulations for .pl domain names dated 18 December 2006.

- Internet is a freedom zone, offering freedom of speech and commercial activities. Our actions regarding development of the domain market have resulted in registration of more than 2.44 million domains in Poland, alone. However, there is no room for illegal activities in the Internet, for causing damage and misleading users - underlines Michał Chrzanowski, Director of NASK.

NASK is an operator of the .pl national domain register and cooperates with Partners under the Registry – Registrar model, observing all standards and ICANN recommendations for the Internet network. The NASK partner programme offers the capability of individual registration and handling of .pl domain names. Currently, more than 190 NASK Partners both in Poland and abroad support ca. 99% .pl domain names, which ensures a high level of competitiveness among entities with the partner status and provides multiple choice options regarding the company to render .pl domain name registration and support services. NASK has developed and implemented multiple programmes aimed at ensuring safety of internet users. One example of such actions is implementation of the DNSSEC protocol. The CERT Polska teams operates as part of the institute, as well.

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