Controversial Russian Web Hoster Says Critics Are Rogue, Greedy Xenophobe

Controversial Russian Web Hoster Says Critics Are Rogue, Greedy Xenophobe
Controversial Russian Web Hoster Says Critics Are Rogue, Greedy Xenophobe 

By Ryan Singel
October 22, 2007 

A reportedly rogue Russian web hoster accused of being home to the web's 
worst scams says it's clean, but that its vocal and well-respected 
critics are anything but. Anti-spam group Spamhaus won't follow its own 
rules and strongarms innocent ISPs into violating contracts, while 
Verisign's research arm pumps out security misinformation to justify its 
security contracts with its customers, the company charges.

The Russian Business Network is a secretive Russian web hosting provider 
that Western security firms say plays host to some of the worst scams on 
the internet. RBN tells THREAT LEVEL via email that those accusations 
are similar to Bush administration exaggerations about Iraq's 
non-existent weapons of mass destruction that RBN says was cover for 
earning "petrodollars."

According to respected security groups such as Verisign's iDefense 
group, SANS Internet Storm Center and Secure Computing, the Russian 
Business Network is a rogue web hosting provider that caters to child 
pornography purveyors, financial phishing scams and hackers controlling 
armies of zombie computers. RBN charges some $600 a month for a 
dedicated server and protection from takedowns due to abuse complaints, 
according to iDefense.

But Russian Business Network representative Tim Jaret forcefully denies 
the accusations. He says that the company investigates abuse complaints 
and takes care of them if there is a violation of law. But most of the 
complaints from iDefense didn't have "any ground or proves of violation 
of [RBN's acceptable use policy] or country legislation," Jaret told 

RBN is particularly unhappy about its interactions with its listing on 
Spamhaus, an organization which compiles one of the most widely used 
black lists of spammers on the internet. Spamhaus ignores its own 
removal policies, strong-arms web providers into turning over 
information about its clients as the price to be paid for getting off 
the black list, and is prejudiced against companies located in Russia, 
according to RBN's Jaret.


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