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Internet Pill Gangs Target LegitScript with Fake Domain Name Registrations

Brian Krebs over at just wrote an insightful piece about how Internet pill gangs have registered several thousand porn and bestiality websites to LegitScript or its founder. The websites were registered with LegitScript’s founder’s name, former business address and LegitScript’s phone number, but were definitely not registered by LegitScript or anyone affiliated with LegitScript.

What’s going on here is simple. We’ve worked with Registrars to shut down thousands of fake pharmacy sites, including those that sell substandard drugs, don’t require a prescription, or don’t have a pharmacy license. Large numbers of these sites are controlled by “pill gangs” operating out of Russia and Eastern Europe. This is retaliation by those same groups.

As Krebs on Security noted:

The sites were registered just days after LegitScript finalized a deal with eNom Inc., the world’s 5th-largest domain name registrar…(s)ince then, many affiliates who promote pill sites via online pharmacy affiliate programs have been scrambling to move their domains to other registrars, with varying degrees of success.

We took a closer look at an initial round of information about these sites. Krebs on security reported some initial findings:

A big chunk of the domains were set up through a registrar simply called “Maxine,” which lists in its contact information a non-working number. But that number, “+718.5998172?, is the same one used to register countless pill sites pushing rogue pharmacies, such as

Stepping back from this, it’s good to think about what this says about who controls many of the websites that we’ve declared to be “rogue.” Would you trust an online pharmacy run by someone who also operates hardcore porn and bestiality sites? If a rogue Internet pharmacy operator is willing to promote those sites, and falsely register thousands in someone else’s name, it should come as no surprise that they would also be willing to sell fake or substandard medicines.

LegitScript appreciates the swift action by a number of Registrars, including UK2Group, to shut down the websites.