Self-Developed Tools Adapting with Cybersecurity Changes

The Netherlands is increasing its efforts to fight cybercrime. The Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SIDN) has developed its own tools for spotting and taking down potentially fake websites.

According to SIDN, their self-developed web tools are self-teaching. As more data is gathered, they can profile characteristics being used to enable them to identify fake websites more quickly.

In 2019, SIDN was able to spot and remove 4,340 fake shopping websites under the .NL domain name. The tools used are teaching themselves how to recognize these fake sites to protect consumers.

The tools in play look at things like email addresses linked to the registration of the domain name. A lot of domain names that are dropped by their initial user can be re-registered after 40 days. A lot of fake domain names are re-registered right at the 40-day mark and typically during Chinese office hours.

After a period of five days, if the site and its domain cannot be confirmed as authentic, they will de-link the site. This will route internet users away from the site.

Of the flagged sites hosted by .NL, those examined between September and December 2019 confirmed close to 80% of them were fake.

The .NL domain is aware of its responsibility to monitor abusive behavior within their namespace, but they also urge consumers to be safe while shopping online and educate themselves on identifying fake websites.

Fake websites will have a lack of legal information on their site. This includes the privacy policy, terms of use, and their dispute policy. The website may have them, but they may not make sense. A high level of grammatical errors is also a dead giveaway.

Contact information on fake websites is often incomplete. The website operator quite often has a location that has very little relevance to the website itself.

Payment options on a fake website may not allow for secure payment options like PayPal. The usage of prices that are “too good to be true” is often an indicator of a fake.

Although the .NL is trying to protect its patrons, it is important for the patrons to be able to protect themselves. Getting money back from these fake companies can be almost impossible.