eBooks scam used dot .GOV #domains from Virginia state’s government

An elaborate eBooks scam utilized two subdomains of a dot .GOV domain belonging to the Virginia state government.

The scammers infiltrated the subdomains vwn.virginia.gov and crc.virginia.gov, populating them with a list of eBook titles with links to download PDFs from other sites.

Dot .GOV domains – Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The subdomains provided Virginia’s Workforce Network and Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) program according to these web captures from 4 years ago.

It’s most likely that the scammers sought to get link juice from the .GOV web sites, what is essentially an act of “blackhat SEO.”

This was an act of hijacking existing (sub)domains, not registering a new dot .GOV domain name.

In recent years, the registration process for .GOV domains has become stricter, after an embarrassing fresh registration of a .GOV occurred thanks to fake documents and the use of social engineering.

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