Scammers using the Apache name

This has cropped up a number of times, and probably deserves all the extra publicity it can get.

Someone calling itself “Apache Software Indonesia Foundation” with domains apparently including “apache-project.org” and “project-apache.org” is passing itself off as Apache, and selling DVDs and licenses that purport to be Apache software, to the extent of calling something “Apache HTTP server”.  Evidently they have successfully scammed someone (non-public mail received at the ASF indicates much more), and they appear still to be pushing the scam hard.

The simple lesson is, the real Apache Software Foundation owns the domain apache.org.  Anything that isn’t [something].apache.org is not the ASF.  That includes similar domains that may include the word “apache”: treat this as a warning sign if the usage is not clear, and especially if a site offers to take your money.  It could also be a trademark infringement!

Of course there’s also a wide range of domains (including mine) that use “apache” in good faith: the best offer a great service (I won’t taint good guys by naming them in this post).  Below these there’s a mostly-harmless grey area.   This “Apache Indonesia” stands in what may be a class of its own as an outright scam.

Posted on July 12, 2010, in apache, identity theft. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I am trying to give alert because I find whole set of data available is fishy.

    1) The project-apache.org which is claimed to be from Indonesia right?

    But the site seems to be registered in Hyderabad, India. Please take a look at the registration information for the site:

    PROJECT-APACHE.ORG SITE INFORMATION
    IP: 202.65.152.85
    IP Location: Hyderabad, India
    Website Status: active
    Server Type: Apache/2.2.3 (Red Hat)
    Alexa Trend/Rank: Up Arrow 1 Month: 1,801,039 3 Month: 3,453,212
    Page Views per Visit: Up Arrow 1 Month: 2.7 3 Month: 2.3
    http://www.project-apache.org Thumbnail

    Expiration Date: 2011-07-01 14:31:04
    Creation Date: 2010-07-01 14:31:04
    Last Update Date: 2010-08-31 03:48:24

    So, it was created on : 1st July 2010!

    2) The few links embedded in project-apache.org takes you to Apache Software Foundation. Which is with the intention of misleading the community. Because, Apache never had something called ‘Apache Project Foundation’. So, it means, whoever the conspirator are, are trying to link ASF, just to make others believe that this site is connected to Apache Software Foundation.

    But Apache in their site they have clearly stated, if the domain is not xxx.apache.org, it is not Apache Site. On the contrary the site that is given in the suspected case is project-apache.org. If it were to be genuine, it should have been project.apache.org

    Pl. Refer to the statement given by the Apache Software Foundation:
    “remember: if it’s not hosted at apache.org, it’s probably not officially from the ASF.”

    Refer : http://communityovercode.com/2010/07/likely-fraud-alert-apache-project-dot-org/

    3) The Project-apache site – if you look at the site – shows that the site is developed using Designed using Airtel Website Builder. And Airtel Website Builder web site registration information is here:
    AIRTELWEBSITEBUILDER.COM SITE INFORMATION
    IP: 202.65.152.85
    IP Location: Hyderabad, India
    Website Status: active
    Server Type: Apache/2.2.3 (Red Hat)
    Alexa Trend/Rank: Down Arrow 1 Month: 585,031 3 Month: 558,049
    Page Views per Visit: Up Arrow 1 Month: 3.5 3 Month: 3.1

    So there is no way that you could relate this whole set of fact to Indonesia in the first place. I still think that it is a conspiracy to cheat people plotted in India by Indians.

    AirtelWebSiteBuilder.com is another story to tell. But I would not like to get into its details at this point of time.

    Please be careful. I am trying to raise an alert at the community level soon.

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