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Friday 29 August 2014

cars4cashuk.com scam and Cyber Cast International (CCIHosting), Panama []

I spotted this scam warning on the Autotrader website:
We have received reports of customers receiving a text message asking them to visit www.cars4cashuk.com to sell their cars quickly for cash. Customers are asked to pay a deposit in order to secure the sale of their vehicle. This website is not genuine and in no way affiliated with AutoTrader. We are currently working to have this website shut down.

For more information please contact our Customer Security team on 0330 303 9001.
The site is a crude attempt to extract money from unsuspecting people trying to trade their car, but it does feature the AutoTrader logo prominently.

If you're trying to sell your car then probably all you need to know is that it's a scam, and you probably don't need to read any further. But if you read my blog regularly then you might want to read on..

The site has no ownership information, but a check of the WHOIS details show the following contacts:

Registry Domain ID:
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.1api.net
Registrar URL: http://www.1api.net
Updated Date: 2014-08-10T15:31:12Z
Creation Date: 2014-08-10T15:31:12Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2015-08-10T15:31:12Z
Registrar: 1API GmbH
Registrar IANA ID: 1387
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: abuse@1api.net
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +49.68416984x200
Reseller: www.sky-ip.com http://www.sky-ip.com/
Domain Status: ok - http://www.icann.org/epp#OK
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: José Castrellón
Registrant Organization: CyberCast
Registrant Street: Ricardo J. Alfaro, El Dorado
Registrant City: Panama
Registrant State/Province: Panama
Registrant Postal Code: 0819-06448
Registrant Country: PA
Registrant Phone: +507.3014841
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: domains@sky-ip.com
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: José Castrellón
Admin Organization: CyberCast
Admin Street: Ricardo J. Alfaro, El Dorado
Admin City: Panama
Admin State/Province: Panama
Admin Postal Code: 0819-06448
Admin Country: PA
Admin Phone: +507.3014841
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax:
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: domains@sky-ip.com
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: José Castrellón
Tech Organization: CyberCast
Tech Street: Ricardo J. Alfaro, El Dorado
Tech City: Panama
Tech State/Province: Panama
Tech Postal Code: 0819-06448
Tech Country: PA
Tech Phone: +507.3014841
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax:
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: domains@sky-ip.com
Name Server: ns1.cybercastco.com
Name Server: ns2.cybercastco.com

So who are José Castrellón and CyberCast (aka CyberCast International). Are they the scammers? Well, no.. CyberCast (through their website at ccihosting.com) offer anonymous offshore hosting and domain registrations. The sort of things that scammers love, although of course there are legitimate uses for such things. CyberCast presumably are not doing the actual scamming, but I'd suggest that they could be accused of some level of complicity.

So.. you can buy a domain and web hosting using an anonymous payment system like Bitcoin or Perfect Money and it seems more-or-less do what you like with it. Now, that's great if you are running a web site dedicated to overthrowing an oppressive regime (for example) but the bulk of the sites hosted by CyberCast are a lot less savoury, including phishing sites, sites selling DDOS services, counterfeit goods, trading stolen credit card information, piracy sites, spam, cybersquatting, illegal or fake pharmacies, hacking sites and a little bit of porn as well.

There may well be some legitimate sites hosted by this company, I spotted some local Panamanian sites for example, but the overwhelming majority of the CyberCast / CCIHosting address space is completely toxic, therefore I would strongly recommend that you block access to the range from your network.

There is not a lot of reputation data for the sites in this /21, but I have compiled a list of sites, IPs, WOT ratings and Google and SURBL prognoses here [csv].

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