Tech companies are selling domains suggesting illegal sales of guns, malware

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Jun 21, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

Popular domain registrars put up few barriers for those seeking to acquire domains suggesting illegal activities, according to a report from consumer watchdog group Digital Citizens Alliance.

The report, released Tuesday, raises debate over the role of tech companies in overseeing the purchases of domains that could be used for crime.

Between February and May, researchers at the alliance (DCA) were able to purchase dozens of domains suggesting illegal behavior in the domain text itself. Examples included: “” (Google), “” (NameCheap), “” (Network Solutions) and “” (GoDaddy).

The examples are “symbolic” of how easily domains suggesting criminal activity can be obtained, DCA executive director Tom Galvin told CyberScoop. While a savvy hacker certainly wouldn’t be looking for malware at such an obvious location on the open internet, Galvin says his group is trying to make the point that if companies won’t stop such egregious examples, they are likely missing less obvious URLs being used by criminals.

NameCheap, GoDaddy, and Network Solutions did not return CyberScoop’s request for comment.

Google prohibits using domains for certain purposes, including phishing and malware, according to the company. It does not prohibit registering domains using

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