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This week in hosting

A successful “phishing” trip dominated this week’s headlines with an upcoming hosting industry event and the cleaning up of a mess involving domain names coming a close second and third. Here is an overview of this week in the hosting and web service industries.

The most prominent technology story this week was the phishing and publication of tens of thousands of email account details, once again exposing the one vulnerability that hosting firms and email providers cannot control: their customers. With username and passwords posted online for accounts spanning across Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail and others, the providers in question quickly issued press releases expounding on the fact that the details were obtained through phishing as opposed to any security breach in their networks. Proof again that you can protect your customers against anything, with the exception of themselves.

Virtualization software maker Parallels made hosting headlines again this week, this time due to their announcement of details concerning the upcoming Parallels Summit 2010 to be held in Miami, Florida from February 22 to 24, 2010. This event follows closely on the heels of the successful APAC Summit in Singapore last month, a convention that saw presentations from VeriSign, Unison and Microsoft, among others. Considering the attention given to cloud computing technologies during the first event, industry insiders expect the February summit to maintain that focus, helping hosting firms and other network-dependant businesses plan for the future.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has authorized a bulk transfer all domain names held by a registrar who was found to have violated more than one condition of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. Red Register was stripped of its RAA when it was determined the company was in violation of aspects of its agreement with ICANN, including failure to pay accreditation fees, failure to maintain a working web site and failure to maintain accurate contact information for its registrants. ICANN issued a call for an accredited registrar to take over Red Registers domain holdings and received 15 applications, eventually settling on DirectNIC. Customers who registered their domain names with the dropped company will receive transfer notices via email over the next two weeks, according to a press release.

This move marks the latest in an effort by ICANN to have registrars who’s business practices don’t mesh with the requirements for accreditation shut down; the fact that it took nearly a year since the first infraction was recorded to act against Red Register indicates that the not-for-profit still needs to step up its procedures if it hopes to offer registrants protection from second-rate firms with questionable practices.

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