• United States
by Readers

Letters to the editor: “Beware cybersquatters”

Dec 05, 20055 mins
Data CenterMalwareVoIP

Also, ICE,VoIP,banking authentication,Web hosting,Sony,malware

Battling squatters

“Beware cybersquatters” is a timely article. I am a small business owner and have trademark rights to the name RCS Advisors. A few days ago, Unasi registered the domain name through and created a landing page with third-party commercial Web sites competitive to my business.

I did some research on Unasi and learned that within the last three months, they have lost 11 domain name dispute cases filed in the national arbitration forum.  The companies include AllTel, PNC Financial,, Morgan Stanley, Liberty Mutual Insurance, MediaLive International, Jaclyn Smith, State Farm Auto Insurance, M. Stanken Communications, IndyMac Bank, and Save the Children Federation.  In each case the people at Unasi lost because they did not reply to the arbitration panel.

Unasi may believe that they have a good business model, but they do not respond to trademark infringement claims. The people in that company are abusing the domain name registration process outlined by ICANN and wasting the resources of others. All I ask is that the people at Unasi allow me to buy back for the price they paid for it. I am attempting to have the registrar intervene since Unasi is clearly abusing the domain name registration process.

Bob Shay


RCS Advisors, LLC

Stamford, Conn.

Solution, not problem

In the article, “Microsoft, Cisco support ICE for VoIP”, I don’t agree with the assessment of NAT.  It is not NAT per se that protects a network, nor is NAT the problem; the problem is the firewall.  More specifically, it’s a firewall policy that prevents external traffic from entering the private network.

NAT is used to allow internal private addresses to egress to the Internet by changing their private ( address to a public one.  But the firewall will drop all connections originating from the outside; that’s its number one job.  However, looking at another firewall scenario, let’s call it the e-commerce model, you let the world into your Web-portal DMZ, and again your firewall will take any source address but only send it to one destination (the proxy) over one port (80/443 in the case of http/s).  To me, that is how you can fix the VoIP problem: External users connect into a VoIP DMZ where a VoIP proxy could NAT/PAT that traffic to an internal server on the 10-net side, effectively and safely allowing you to relay the VoIP calls into your organization. So to my mind NAT, used in a proxy model, is the solution, not the problem.

Chris Ellis

Network security consultant

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Bank on authentication

Regarding Linda Musthaler’s column, “Banking on two-step authentication”: I wish Musthaler had named the financial planning company she refers to; I would think it shouldn’t upset them to be named if they really believe their claims.

This summer I visited my brokerage firm (Schwab) and asked them why I should feel safe conducting electronic business with them. Naturally, I got usual claims that they have it all under control. I came prepared with news clippings of a long list of data breaches (ChoicePoint, Bank of America, Citibank) that have occurred since the beginning of the year.  I showed them exactly what kind of two-factor authentication we use at my workplace.  More importantly, I presented my account representative with an ad from their competitor (E*Trade), which is offering account holders of at least $50,000 the two-factor authentication device I was requesting.  This was an implied threat that I’d move my business elsewhere unless Schwab was able to address my concerns.

Two months later I got a call saying Schwab is piloting a two-factoring authentication solution internally.  Now I’m lobbying to be one of their first non-employee users.

George Hsieh

Fairfax, Va.

Host with the most

Regarding “Web hosting costs soar”: I would have liked to see more analysis to explain a couple of counter-intuitive factors.  The first is that the compute power per watt is increasing, so we should be getting more performance per square foot even if the power and cooling requirements are increasing because of higher density.  The second is that the Internet is generally location-independent (ignoring the primary backbone locations), so why can’t data centers simply be located in places with lower costs? Especially when the carriers, some of whom install and operate the high-capacity lines, are the ones building the data centers.

Roger Slykhouse

Warren, Mich.

In an article on rising costs of Web hosting space in a few keys markets, all of which are notorious for high real estate costs, I was surprised to see no discussion of building such centers in less expensive areas.  If corporations can move their back office operations to India, why can’t Web hosters move their facilities to, say, South Dakota? A server center does not require much on-site staff.

Dave Richter

Systems development analyst

Ford Motor Co. 

Bloomfield, Mich.

Prevent pryware

Regarding Mark Gibbs’ BackSpin column, “Is Sony’s CD DRM malware?”: The recent exposure of Sony’s DRM “pryware” is yet another example of the downside of a mega-corporation trying to insinuate its control over our private computing environments.  This action is similar to that of Intuit’s use of C-Dilla in its TurboTax product. There is no notice to the user that the software is being installed, nor is there any way to easily remove all traces of the software without crippling the product that was purchased.  And in Sony’s case, it appears that removal might also induce potential harm to an individual’s other personal property that was not manufactured or sold by Sony.  I feel that Sony’s use of rootkit-level cloaking type of software in its products is a clear intrusion and infringement into my personal privacy, bordering on criminal activity. 

I have recently been looking into purchasing a DVD/CD RW device and was seriously considering a Sony drive.  However, as a result of this story, I have decided not to consider purchasing any CD or DVD products from Sony for the near future.

Robb Sauerhoff

Associate director

Gartner, Inc.

Bridgeport, Conn.