Wednesday, 15 April 2009 08:06

Bottle Domains given the boot by auDA

Melbourne-based domain registrar Bottle Domains has been stripped of its accreditation by auDA. The move results from a "serious" breach of the registrar agreement in relation to security breaches.

According to a statement issued by auDA, in February 2009 it was notified by the Australian Federal Police of a "security incident" that may have affected Bottle Domains' customers.

auDA officials say the organisation has now learned of an earlier security incident in April 2007 which may be related to the February incident.

"Information recently provided to auDA by Bottle Domains about the April 2007 incident revealed that it did not reset customer passwords or alert its customers to the possibility that their account information had been accessed by third parties," said the officials.

"Bottle Domains also failed to conduct an independent security audit to verify that the security vulnerability had been fixed, and that there was no other unauthorised access to its systems."

According to auDA CEO Chris Disspain, "In our view, Bottle Domains' failure to deal properly with the security incident in April 2007 demonstrated an alarming disregard of the potential risks to its own customers, and to the overall stability and integrity of the Australian DNS."

"Given the seriousness of the matter, it is appropriate that auDA terminate Bottle Domains' registrar accreditation," he added.

What did Bottle Domains have to say about the breach? Find out on page two.

In a statement issued on 11 February 2009, Bottle Domains general manager Andrew Steven claimed the breach was the work of a then employee of another .au registrar.

He also claimed that account and domain passwords were changed, the software replaced, and an independent security review performed.

According to Steven, the company now uses the domain and hosting management platform employed by leading international registrars such as GoDaddy and 1&1.

auDA is contacting Bottle Domains' customers advising them of the steps necessary to transfer to a different registrar.

"Even if your domain name is not due to expire for a while, transferring your domain name now will ensure that your details are up to date and that you can easily renew your domain name when the time comes." officials advise.

As of this writing, Bottle Domains is still offering .au domains through its web site.

Bottle Domains is a trading name used by Australian Style Pty Ltd, a company associated with Nick Bolton. Bolton and Australian Style have also been in the news due to a high-profile court case involving a move to wind-up BrisConnections, the company contracted to build a toll road between Brisbane and its airport.

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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