auDA caps Bolton's fizz

Summary:Australia's domain name administrator has terminated the accreditation of Nicholas Bolton's domain business Bottle Domains on the same day the IT entrepreneur has won a controversial investment battle.

Australia's domain name administrator has terminated the accreditation of Nicholas Bolton's domain business Bottle Domains on the same day the IT entrepreneur has won a controversial investment battle.

For the past few weeks Bolton's name has dominated business headlines due to a complicated battle with transport infrastructure player BrisConnections, which has seen him successfully parlay a measly $47,000 investment in the company into a $4.5 million windfall in a technique which the finance community has viewed as "greenmailing". However, the situation is still complicated to call an eventual winner.

Bolton is also behind Australian Style, trading as Bottle Domains, a domain name reseller. However, .au Domain Administration, which administers Australia's domain name system, today said it had cancelled the group's accreditation, meaning it would not be able to continue to provide domain name services.

auDA said it had been notified in February by the Australian Federal Police that there had been a security incident affecting Bottle Domains' customers.

At the time, Bottle said an employee of a competing domain registrar, which had had a software licensing agreement with Bottle, had breached the company's security. It claimed a Perth man had been arrested in connection with the breach.

But auDA said not only had Bottle failed to notify auDA of a previous incident in April 2007, but it had not reset passwords or alerted its customers to the possibility that their accounts might have been compromised. Bottle also failed to complete a security audit, auDA alleged.

"auDA takes security issues very seriously," said auDA CEO, Chris Disspain. "In our view, Bottle Domains' failure to deal properly with the security incident in April 2007 demonstrated an alarming disregard of the potential risks to its own customers, and to the overall stability and integrity of the Australian DNS."

"Given the seriousness of the matter, it is appropriate that auDA terminate Bottle Domains' registrar accreditation."

Disspain said there was no connection in the timing between Bolton's BisConnections battle and its own action. Bolton also operates an associated business, Domain Central.

auDA said the domain names of Bottle customers were not at risk. The regulator was contacting customers to let them know what action to take. ZDNet.com.au was unable to contact Bottle Domains at the time of publication.

Topics: Legal, Enterprise 2.0

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