I remember that some time ago (3 months, to be exact), I received notification by my Registrar and my Hosting Provider the like that they give
.info domains away for free.
Later last year, I had a huge wave of comment spam flooding my blog, all pointing to weird, random
.info domains. Fortunately, I could fight back with the excellent Spam Karma plugin for Wordpress.
Today, then, I read an article on Heise (A German newsticker) that warns about Google Scams where Scammers set-up hundreds-of-thousands
.info domains that will try to use Windows/IE exploits to install Spyware one the clueless victim’s PCs! These domains show up in regular search results for a variety of terms (Cheap price and the like). Furthermore, they placed prominent Google Ads for the same search terms that would display fake URL’s and redirect to these rogue domains as well.
I guess they used the money they didn’t need to invest in the domain names to set-up these sites and/or (as Heise suggests) they used stolen Credit Cards to buy the Google Ads.
I don’t know if my Registrar was alone to promote .info, but I doubt it. I definitely see a connection here. Scary … and a nice example how some weird marketing campaign can result in some disastrous scenario.