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Home / Tips and Tricks / Stop Malware and Phishing Fraud: Tools for Detecting Shady Websites

Stop Malware and Phishing Fraud: Tools for Detecting Shady Websites



Have you ever visited a website and wondered where this site and its owners are located? Shopping sites are particularly interesting because most people want to know who the seller is and where the seller is located. Occasional online browsers may also be on sites that transfer malware to unsuspecting PCs, place malicious pop-up ads, or fish for private information. Others might come across websites that promote conspiracy theories, hate rhetoric, or violence that they may want to avoid or detect.

Would not it be great if there was a service that revealed this information? Well, there is and here you will learn how to use it.

Using WHOIS to Find Shady Sites

Many Web sites and organizations provide free site identification information. Most notable is ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a private non-profit organization that allocates (among others) space for IP addresses and manages domain names. The service is called WHOIS and provides a long list of biographical information for every web site in the world.

ICANN sends emails to site owners (or administrators) of new sites and owners of changed existing sites, asking users to review and update the information on all sites. Many people ignore these emails, but new ICANN rules require you to respond, or ICANN will block your domain name (hence your website) from 72 hours to 15 days. Add ICANN to your email whitelist to avoid interruption. If you are suspended, visit the ICANN website to learn how to reactivate your site.

The care taken by ICANN is good news for most legitimate sites, but not for sites that prefer to remain anonymous. Not all anonymous websites are unscrupulous. Many site owners need to protect their privacy from fans, stalkers, professional competition or other risks.

  01 icann alert JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide

ICANN alert

Similar sites like WhoIsHostingThis and Whois.net and dozens of others are just as reliable. Your own host provider may even offer this service.

Note, however, that many websites use a domain privacy service (also known as a proxy protection service) such as WhoIsGuard, Proxy Protection, or Domains by Proxy to protect users' private information from being viewed on the Internet. These sites mask the site owner's information and replace it with information from the host provider or proxy service.

So how do you discover the hidden information on a protected website? At the present time, you can not access protected information without a valid subpoena from a law enforcement agency or representative. There are workarounds, such as For example, querying a passive DNS / WHOIS server (as opposed to an active WHOIS database server) with programs such as SecurityTrails, SurfaceBrowser, Deteque, DomainTools, and dozens of others. These programs use a variety of techniques, e.g. For example, comparing data from different datasets, studying WHOIS historical records, and exploring related domains, to name but a few. None of them are simple, simple solutions. Because of this, most regular web surfers do not use these methods.

Fraudsters, Fraud Lists and Site Blockers

Since protected who-is information is so hard to obtain, you should consider using Internet fraud detection services such as the Consumer Protection Authority of your state, which Bureau of Consumer Protection or the Federal Trade Commission. The US government provides guidance on how to prevent and combat fraud and fraud, including lists of known perpetrators.

Among the reputable organizations that track this information for free is the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker, which lets you search by keywords, type of fraud, and location and date. Fake INet is another free service that provides a search box for "Scam Finder". Enter the URL of a suspicious site, and if you are guilty, Fake INet will display the site on the screen. Scam Detector and we are searched for you.

  02 Better Business Offices Lists of Unscrupulous Sites. JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide.

Better Business Offices Lists of Unscrupulous Sites

For a comprehensive list of hate group sites, visit the Southern Poverty Law Center, the White Nationalists' website by Wikipedia by location, or the Anti-Defamation League. If you find a suspicious site, use these services to learn more, and block them if necessary in your web browser.

For information on propaganda websites (also known as fake news sites), see the list of Wikipedia fake news sites, "Professor Melissa Zimdars fakes news sites that Daily Dot Snopes or Media Bias / Fact Check.

Install for Pornography or Similar Offensive Sites Safernet, OpenDNS Family Shield or OPenDNS Home, Google's Safe Search, or any of a dozen other products ranging from free to $ 99 per year. When in doubt, simply search for the website's name or URL, followed by keywords such as "complaints," "ratings," "offensive," "fake," "fraudulent," etc., and find out what's coming out.

If you are serious about digging up the dirt on a website, there are review companies that provide up-to-date reports for dangerous or offensive websites. These services are NOT free. For a high fee of $ 199 for one day's data, or $ 399 for a third day's data, you'll receive a report detailing the latest fraudulent websites that cheat Internet users. However, keep in mind that most of these services include companies in the locations you want to avoid.

My advice: Use the reputable "list" sites that are offered for free.


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