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FreeDNS down 5 hours due because of E-Bay Scammer, making thousands of websites unavailable

A complaint from EBay about a scam site hosted using their DNS service made their ISP, Webair, disconnect their service.

FreeDNS, a popular completely free shared DNS hosting service, was disconnected by their ISP Webair after E-Bay complained about a scammer who was abusing one of their domains for a "Phishing scam" site. Such sites look like pages on the real service and are meant to make visitors reveal credit cards and other valuable information in the belief they are submitting it to a trusted service, while the information is actually transmitted to a evil third party.

The number of such fraud attempts is a huge, increasing problem on the Internet today (Check what URL is actually used when using banks or submitting credit card information! The number of Phishing scams is increasing).

FreeDNS owner Joshua Anderson posted that "ISP disabled me for 5 hours today from 10 AM to 3 PM Pacific" and explains he as now taken steps to prevent any future downtime due to such scams, including giving his ISP a web interface where they can remove domains being abused for fraud purposes.

The real problem with FreeDNS is that all their four name-servers are placed at the same location, there are no secondary backup DNS servers at alternative geographical locations. If the large 100 Mbps (12,500 KB/s) pipe used at Webair goes down, all the domain names at FreeDNS goes down.

Anderson has got many offers from members who have voluntarily offered to host backup DNS, including a P4 1.6GHz with a 4Mbit SDSL connection and static IP.

Anderson points of that more sponsoring members ($5 a month) could provide the funding to place secondary servers at other high-speed facilities. Currently only 137 (0,15%) of FreeDNS total of 89,561 users are paying members. While the current number of members only provide enough money to found the current one and only hosting-location, 10% sponsoring members would provide $45000 every month and surely be more than enough needed to ensure rock solid stability. There are users who have generously offered to run backup services for afraid.org before, though none with the level of stability that I am really looking for. I don't want to force a charge on users, but it would be nice if user support, to make these things feasibly worthwhile to do, as the guest user mentions he's not adverse to paying, spoken as if I have not made user support a public option within the site. What am I doing wrong? Surely the majority of the site's users would not be for me forcing a charge, it would most certainly kill the shared DNS concept, too. That was the beauty behind keeping financial support optional. -- Joshua Anderson


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