Sneaky Cameroonian bastards

No longer will a certain typo go unpunished when navigating to a web address.

Happen to miss out the O in .com and you will be directed to a page full of advertising.
The nation of Cameroon, which controls the .cm TLD, has put a wildcard into its DNS system, so that any domain on the .cm system that is not registered, is directed to this advertising page.

Pretty sneaky, in my books. But then, it was worse when Verisign tried to do it back in the summer of ’03.
What they did, was exactly the same, except, obviously, it had a bigger hit range. If you navigated to a non-existant .com or .net web address, you would be confronted with a page of possible suggestions, and of course, some paid links.
Plus, it broke other things. SMTP, for example. Because, essentially, every single domain was ‘registered’, if you sent an email to an incorrectly spelt domain, instead of getting an error message back from your SMTP server, you would get either nothing, or an error returned from the Verisign SMTP server, which is not good for many reasons.

Needless to say, it didn’t go down well and Verisign were forced to remove it after just a few days.

Of course, if you are really aggreived by the fact that Cameroon want your typos, you could just edit your hosts file to send *.cm to (or similar), thus rendering the entire TLD out of your range. I mean, when was the last time you visited a Cameroonian website?

Check out my Cameroonian website, if you will.


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