ICANN Puts EstDomains Registrar Back on Chopping Block

After initially staying the execution of embattled registrar EstDomains, ICANN has decided to shut it down Nov. 24. EstDomains has long been linked to cyber-criminals by security researchers.

ICANN has placed the EstDomains registrar back on death row.

According to ICANN, the embattled registrar will have its accreditation terminated effective Nov. 24. The decision comes roughly two weeks after ICANN first contacted EstDomains Oct. 28 and said it was taking the registrar offline due to the conviction of the registrar's then-president Vladimir Tsastsin on fraud and money laundering charges.

According to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), ICANN may terminate the RAA before its expiration when any of a registrar's officers or directors is convicted of a crime related to financial activities, provided the person is not removed in such circumstances.

In response to ICANN, EstDomains sent a letter Oct. 29 stating that Tsastsin was no longer president and his conviction was being appealed. On the strength of that letter, ICANN granted the registrar a brief stay of execution until EstDomains' counterclaims could be investigated. On Nov. 7, ICANN responded to EstDomains that it was going ahead with the termination.

Read about ICANN's take on domain tasting here.

When news of ICANN's move against EstDomains first circulated in October, it was greeted warmly by many in the IT security community, who have long accused EstDomains of providing services to cyber-criminal organizations involved in spam campaigns and other activity. EstDomains, however, has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing on its part.

According to ICANN, EstDomains manages roughly 281,000 domain names. ICANN officials said the organization has published a "Request for Information" to see if any registrars are interested in receiving a bulk transfer of the domain names managed by EstDomains.