Mark Cuban issues burn notice on offensive ENS domain

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Somebody despatched Mark Cuban a profane Ethereum Identify Service area just a few days in the past. After observant Twitter customers recently tracked down his ether address, it was solely a matter of time earlier than a wave of undesirable spam transactions made their manner into his account. That is, in any case, the web. Right here there be monsters.

Whereas it isn’t completely clear what the presumed troll’s endgame was, the phrase was nonetheless offensive sufficient to lift some eyebrows at Cointelegraph, and we don’t intend to reprint it right here. Suffice to say, a good individual wouldn’t need to be generally known as the proprietor of this area, even when they weren’t a star billionaire.

We reached out to Mark Cuban to search out out, to start with, if he knew something about its origin. Had he bought it himself? Was he even conscious he owned it? And most significantly, what had been his plans for the identify going ahead?

He responded:

“Rattling. No, I do not personal [it]. I assume anybody can put an eth deal with to a website. I do not even know if it’s potential to vary it. Thanks for the heads up.”

Whereas Cuban has become increasingly involved in the blockchain space of late, he’s nonetheless a relative newcomer to sure features of the neighborhood. As such, his understanding of how Ethereum Identify Service, or ENS, domains are acquired, managed, and transferred was considerably restricted initially.

ENS gives customers a decentralized strategy to use human-readable words for his or her blockchain deal with as a substitute of an unwieldy alpha-numeric string. Vitalik Buterin, for example, is thought to make the most of vitalik.eth for his deal with as a substitute of 0xd8dA6BF26964aF9D7eEd9e03E53415D37aA96045. Simple peasy.

The issue with this service is that when you personal an ENS area, you’ll be able to level it at any deal with on the Ethereum blockchain with out requiring permission from the deal with’ proprietor. This enables web tricksters to focus on offensive domains at unsuspecting customers in an try to make it seem that they’re appropriating unsavory phrases and phrases by alternative.

Cuban picked up on this inherent problem, noting “it is apparent that it was despatched to me and I did not purchase it.” He requested Cointelegraph “Is it potential to cancel [the name] or reject the contract?” Digging deeper, it grew to become clear that the troll had made one thing of an error in judgement. There are three elements to an ENS area — the Registrant, which is the proprietor, the Controller, which manages subdomains in addition to the place the area identify factors, and the Document, which notes the precise deal with the place cash are obtained when the area is enter right into a pockets.

Typically, when mischief makers level a website at an unsuspecting consumer’s deal with, they solely change both the Controller or the Document. They don’t normally quit whole management of the area itself. This explicit troll, who Cuban amusingly known as an “fool”, had as a substitute offered the complete Registrant rights to his deal with. This allotted him unfettered possession and management of the area.

With that in thoughts, and with some technical assist from Cointelegraph, Cuban struck on a manner to one-up the foolish troll and get rid of the identify as soon as and for all. He altered the Controller, Document, and eventually Registrant in order that they might every be owned by a burner deal with — i.e. an deal with whose non-public keys are nullified both by design or intention. In Mark’s case, this concerned creating a brand new throwaway pockets himself, with the target of constructing it inaccessible as soon as his mission was full. When requested about his timeline for disposing of the pockets’s keys, he quipped:

“What keys? They’re gone.”

In consequence, the area now successfully has no proprietor. And so it would stay (not less than till the registration expires.)

When confronted with questions as to how related possession quirks ought to be dealt with in future, Cuban maintained that the accountability for such transgressions finally falls on the builders of decentralized functions:

“This can be a drawback that ENS goes to have to repair. There must be acceptance of a switch. In any other case the abuse will likely be actually actually dangerous. This can be a weak point within the system that must be fastened.”

Mark Cuban has been working to mature his stature throughout the blockchain neighborhood over the previous couple of months. Yesterday, he participated in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, utilizing the chance to debate the way forward for distributed know-how and conventional finance. In January, he made headlines by comparing crypto’s current trajectory to the dot com bubble — an period which paved the best way for a few of his preliminary success again within the late 90’s.