October 7, 2016
The au Domain Administration (auDA) recently initiated the biggest crackdown on cases of Unauthorised Business Use (UBU) names in the extension's history.
It all began when the auDA, the .AU policy authority and industry self-regulatory body, began receiving an increasing number of complaints with regard to the unauthorised use of Australian company and business details in the registration of .au domain names. Rather than being a wide-ranging occurrence, this was occurring via specific registrars.
After an extensive audit, the body determined 1025 names, registered via a particular reseller, were in breach. It directed the registrar place those names in "policy delete"; meaning to drop them from the registry. Those domains can then be registered again by a legitimate party.
According to a Financial Review article on the recent action, the scam was a criminal endeavour with a financial motive - to convince people they were dealing with an Australian business and part with their money for goods and services they would never receive. The scam also meant victims' credit card details were compromised.
It's believed that those involved are based overseas and the incident was a well-planned and executed scheme.
Australian domain names enjoy a high standing in the online community as a trusted extension. The auDA's vigilance is absolutely crucial in maintaining this hard-won solid reputation; particularly where ecommerce is involved and in processes where the exchange of personal information takes place.
"Our work continues in this area, for the good of the Australian digital community," says the auDA.
Unlike some web names, in order to register .com.au (and other .au) addresses, the registrant must meet fairly stringent eligibility criteria. This includes one of various types of legitimate and documented connections to the country; such as an ABN, ACN or Australian trademark.
The registrar/reseller has a responsibility of checking this information. Random checks of domain records are also carried out from time to time by the auDA to ensure criteria is being adhered to and that information supplied on records is correct.
Registrar vs. reseller - what's the difference?
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