Domains for nothing!
Are Companies Like Freenom paving the way for Fraud?
Being able to register a free domain – for no costs at all – may seem like a relatively legitimate and useful service. After all, there are several services like Freenom that could help small business owners, bloggers or people who want to share their thoughts - but what about the potential for fraud?
Free domains may not be a big business from a profitability perspective themselves, but they open up the risk to quite a lot of different crimes. The possibilities are endless. Fraudsters can set up a domain in a company’s name within ten minutes, at no cost. This gives them the option to sell fake goods, host fake ads, or commit numerous other things that reflect badly on the company.
What are free domains?
Free domains are basically a free web address. Domain names have had quite a journey since the popularity of the internet boomed in the 1990s, but for the most part, they have always been something that costs money. Now services like Freenom have popped up that not only give users a free domain name but also provide the tools for them to create a fully functional website in minutes. Although Freenom claims to work closely with the well-known security company Kaperskyto keep their free domains safe - there are still innumerable ways in which the free domain system can be exploited.
For example, websites that end in “.tk” are country level domains from Tokelau, an atoll in the south pacific, administrated through New Zealand, offering domains free of charge, if actively used. One of the reasons they are so attractive to scammers is because they are registered on the WHOIS registry with Freenom as the licensee, which makes it easier to stay anonymous.
What are the risks to businesses?
Who are Freenom and why should I be worried?
They offer a free DNS resolver service, but the security of the service and how it is run has long been questioned.