The internet is a wondrous technology and sometimes using the search engines brings some interesting and entertaining yet unexpected results. Today, I was doing some internet keyword research for some changes in web pages. I was searching for various keywords pretaining to "user groups" -- and specifically the word usergroup. A rather interesting web site link appeared as number two in Google.
Wait a minute, Google, the domain "windows7xp.com" doesn't really go along with Apple User Groups*. Or, perhaps it does. So, I clicked on the link so I could peek at the page source to see what key words they were using in order to arrive at the #2 position in Google.
This is what appeared in the browser window:
Having been involved in the Apple user group community for over 20 years, this web page is very familiar to me. In fact, I was involved with the Apple User Group Advisory Board right after Apple brought this department in house onto the Apple servers. Hey??? Why would this be the target of a domain called "Windows 7 XP" ???
The link was actually http://windows7xp.com/usergroups/, so HEY, let's find out where this is actually hosted ... I removed the "usergroups" and backed it up to just http://windows7xp.com/. (You can try this for yourself.) Here's what appeared in the browser window:
This can't be right, I thought. So I decided to go digging for the owner, IP blocks and hosts...
> windows7xp.com = [ 220.127.116.11 ]
> Domain Name: WINDOWS7XP.COM
> Registrar: GODADDY.COM INC.
> Registrant: liveaa
> Registered through: GoDaddy.com Inc.
> Domain Name: WINDOWS7XP.COM
> Domain servers in listed order:
> (Asked whois.arin.net:43 about +18.104.22.168)
> OrgName: Apple Computer Inc.
> OrgID: APPLEC-3
> Address: 20740 Valley Green Drive MS32E
> City: Cupertino
> StateProv: CA
> PostalCode: 95014
> Country: US
This is either some disturbing news, or someone is playing a sick joke just to get some clicks and internet traffic. Which one, I don't know.
At first blush, you would tend to believe the Whois directory and see that the domain is registered to Apple Computer and hosted at GoDaddy.com. But this really doesn't ring true to me. Due to ICANN's nonexistent accountability on domains and alleged tie-ins with organized crime, millions of shady entities falsify the Whois information to avoid detection. This could indeed be some Chinese or Russian botnet who has set up this site for some devious purpose yet unknown. So I tested the IP address -- 22.214.171.124 -- where the files are physically located.
Sure enough, it's hosted on Apple's name servers. (try it)
Apple registered this domain in 2009, and it is set to expire in April of 2010. Maybe they are just testing the domain. Maybe Apple covertly tastes domains and is into domaining just to sway the search engines and contaminate search results. I don't know. But I suspect Microsoft wouldn't be too happy to learn about this. OR, perhaps they both spoof each other and they both know about it. Who knows???
Isn't technology interesting!
Thanks for reading