XBiz News: 09-04-03
This installment of the XBiz Industry News takes a look at the first arrest for using misleading domain names, the FBI’s pursuit of the Sobig.F virus’ author, and a Canadian company that wants to turn you into a porn star…
Arrested for Misleading Domain Names
Federal agents have arrested a Florida man for employing misleading domain names in order to drive traffic to porn sites. Capitalizing on the misspelling of names such as Disneyland and Teletubbies, the accused, John Zuccarini, was earning around $1 million per year from his thousands of domains; most of which were allegedly based upon popular Website addresses, with certain letters either omitted or transposed.
The misleading sites were used to send unsuspecting surfers into a pop-up hell known as a "mousetrap," which is designed to launch even more consoles when the surfer clicks his browser’s "back" button, or tries to close the multiple browser windows altogether.
Facing a prison sentence of up to four years and a hefty fine, Zuccarini will be the first person to be charged under the misleading domain name provision of the recently enacted Amber Alert law.
It’s not like Zuccarini didn’t have any warning before his arrest; since he was under investigation by federal agents since 1999, and had lost 53 lawsuits in both state and federal court, forfeiting about 200 domains in the process. He had also been ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to stop using misleading domains including his misspelled variations of domain names related to the Backstreet Boys, Victoria's Secret and The Wall Street Journal.
Now he’ll have a chance to ‘get a clue’ – as he’s being held without bail – and New York state authorities may wish to extradite him for further prosecution there.
The FBI Closes In On Sobig.F Author
Since August 11th, the Sobig.F virus has been quickly spreading to unsuspecting business and home computer users alike through infected e-mail attachments, and causing untold damage and expense along the way. "Historically, we have seen that the cases that have done the most damage have received the most scrutiny…" said Steve Trilling, senior director of research for computer security firm Symantec.
A scrutiny that now involves the FBI: "We are working with the Department of Homeland Security and with state and local law enforcement on our Cyber Task Forces to track down the perpetrators of Sobig and the recent W32/Blaster worm. We employ the latest technology and code analysis to direct us to potential sources, and I am confident that we will find the culprits." stated FBI Director Robert Mueller.
As part of their search for the culprit(s), the FBI subpoenaed ISP Easynews.com for information about a subscriber who posted the Sobig.F virus on various pornography related newsgroups. According to Easynews CTO Michael Minor, "It appears the account was created with a stolen credit card for the sole purpose of uploading the virus to the Usenet network." Back in May, the recruiting teams received over 700 applications, of those, 45 contestants were chosen for an audition where they were interviewed, photographed, and filmed. The 14 semi-finalists must compete for 10 chances to attend the Porn Star Academie.
Wanna Be A Porn Star?
Following in the path of Star Academie, Quebec’s reality TV show which is similar to “American Idol,” PornStar Academie is a new cyber reality show, where body language replaces the vocal chords of the contestants.
Back in May, the recruiting teams received over 700 applications, of those, 45 contestants were chosen for an audition where they were interviewed, photographed, and filmed. The 14 semi-finalists remaining after the auditions now must compete for the 10 spots (5 men & 5 women) to attend the Academie. The production is taking place in Montreal, a city that has already gained recognition for its quality work in the adult industry.
Starting September 12th and broadcasted online exclusively, the 10 participants, coached by 2 local industry professionals, Daisy Foxxx and Katrina, will spend 3 month in the Academy, their lives followed by several cameras. Working hard to avoid elimination, the participants will be graded on their sensuality, beauty, sex-appeal, sexual appetite and on the success of their tests. They will have to perfect their skills to become Master of the 6 following disciplines; Seduction, Masturbation, Oral, Intercourse, Anal and Gang Bang, all required by the industry.
The audience will have a chance to witness the future student’s best moments at Pornstar Academie’s website. Once a week, somebody will be voted out of the Academie, leaving the remainder of the group to outdo themselves in order to avoid the same fate. Viewers across the world will cast votes for their favorites by phone and on the PornStar Academie website which is available in 4 languages; English, French, German and Spanish. In France, the voting could also be done via SMS.
"It's become a social phenomenon." said PornStar Academie producer Carl Fugere. It’s quite hard at this point to know what the financial repercussions will look like. But he said “It will probably give a good chance to some new-born stars to glow.”
We’ve seen a lot of pseudo reality sites coming out in the past months, using a very successful concept, but nothing getting close enough to ‘reality.’ Porn Star Academie comes across as a merger of the two worlds, involving real people ready to do anything for some recognition.
Stay tuned for more news here at XBiz.com, The Industry Source ~ Stephen