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Google Argentina domain sale mystery remains unsolved

 

Around 10 pm on April 21, Nicolas David Kuroña realized that the Google website in Argentina (google[.]with[.]air) was out of air. Confused, the 30-year-old web designer decided to check in the Information and Coordination Center of Ponto AR (nic[.]ar) domain availability.

When searching for the address, he realized that the domain was available for purchase, for only 270 Argentine pesos (just over R $ 15) and bought it, even receiving a confirmation email from the NIC itself.

Before buying, Nicolas captured the screen, with the information that the address was available for purchase. Photo: Nicolas David Kuroña.
Before buying, Nicolas captured the screen, with the information that the address was available for purchase. Photo: Nicolas David Kuroña.

On Twitter, the web designer explains that he bought the domain through NIC Argentina, in a totally legal way. “I want to clarify that I went to http: // nic[.]air, I saw the http: // google domain[.]with[.]available air and bought legally as appropriate, “he writes.

But, mysteriously, the Google Argentina website went live a few hours later and Nicolas was no longer its owner. The BBC contacted Google Argentina, which just said: “For a short term, the domain was acquired by someone else”, but it was soon recovered.

The NIC Argentina (as well as NIC Brazil) is the body responsible for coordinating internet activities and .ar domain registrations in the country, it gathers information from those responsible for the Argentine websites and is also a space where you can buy them.

In an interview with the BBC, Nicolas says that when buying the domain, he typed the address in the browser bar and found his personal information. “My personal data appeared […] I was paralyzed looking at the screen. I couldn’t believe what had happened, “he said.

To the BBC, Google said that the domain license had not expired, as the expiration date indicates July 2021. This information is also included in Open Data Córdoba, a service that tracks expired Argentine domains, indicating their availability and responsible information.

Screenshot of Open Data Córdoba, indicating that the domain expires on 7/8/2021. Photo: The Hack.
Screenshot of Open Data Córdoba, indicating that the domain expires on 7/8/2021. Photo: The Hack.

Nicolas does not know how to explain exactly what happened. He only says that the NIC returned domain ownership to Google, but its 270 “invested” pesos were not reversed.

So far, neither Google nor NIC Argentina explained what happened, let alone how they transferred ownership back to Google.

Cybersquatting

Buying expired domains from popular websites for malicious use is known as cybersquatting. The term comes from the word “squatting”, which in Portuguese can be translated as “occupation”.

This procedure can be very damaging to a famous brand, company or personality, since when buying a domain with a lot of traffic, which was used by a legitimate service, cybercriminals can organize almost imperceptible phishing campaigns, because when checking the address, the user is completely comfortable with trusting your data or downloading a file.

Fortunately, Nicolas guarantees that he had no bad intentions. “I want to make it clear that I never had any bad intentions, I just tried to buy it and the NIC allowed […] I never imagined that he would allow me to buy it “, justifies Nicolas.


Sources: BBC.

See the original post at: https://thehack.com.br/misterio-da-venda-do-dominio-google-argentina-continua-sem-solucao/?rand=48873

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