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Does VeriSign's SiteFinder service violate the ECPA?
From: "Richard M. Smith" <rms () computerbytesman com>
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 12:55:30 -0400

Hi,

Here's a question for the lawyers.  In certain situations, does the
VeriSign SiteFinder service violate the Electronic Communications
Privacy Act (AKA, ECPA)?

Here's the actual text of the ECPA:
        
   http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/pIch119.html

With my packet sniffer, I noticed that the VeriSign SiteFinder Web
server happily accepts POST form data which is intended for another Web
server.  This situation will occur if the domain name is misspelled in
the action URL of a form.

Without SiteFinder in the picture, the HTTP POST operation is never done
since the DNS lookup fails.

Here's an example POST HTTP request which was misdirected by VeriSign:

POST /cgi-bin/mail.pl HTTP/1.1
Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, 
application/vnd.ms-excel, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint, 
application/msword, application/x-shockwave-flash, */*
Accept-Language: en-us,ru;q=0.5
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR
1.0.3705)
Host: www.atypodomainthatismisdirectedbyverisign.com
Content-Length: 240
Connection: Keep-Alive
Cache-Control: no-cache

toaddr=rms () computerbytesman com&fromaddr=dbrown () lawyers com&message=Rich
ard%2C%0D%0A%0D%0ACan+you+give+me+a+call+right+away+on+my+cellphone%3F++
I+have+some+news+about+your+pending+lawsuit.%0D%0A%0D%0AThanks%2C%0D%0AD
avid+Browm%2C+Esq.%0D%0A

And here's the misleading response from the SiteFinder server:

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 16:29:41 GMT
Server: Apache
Location:
http://sitefinder.verisign.com/lpc?url=www.atypodomainthatismisdirectedb
yverisign.comPOST%20/cgi-bin/mail.pl&host=www.atypodomainthatismisdirect
edbyverisign.com
Connection: close
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

Richard M. Smith
http://www.ComputerBytesMan.com






        


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