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By | John Leyden 13th September 2007 19:13

Cybersquatter storms the Bastille (Linux)

Prompts rebrand

Bastille Linux was forced to switch domain this week after a cybersquatter took control of the Bastille-Linux.org website.

Downloads of Bastille Linux have always been offered through SourceForge, with Bastille-linux.org serving more as a store-front than as a primary download location. The change of ownership of the site came to light only after duty staff at the Internet Storm Centre followed up a tip that something was amiss.

After getting in touch with Jay Beale, the leader of the Bastille Linux Project, it merged that the site had fallen into the clutches of an opportunist who had somehow purchased the domain and who sought $10,000 for its return. It's unclear how exactly the new holder, Mykhaylo Perebiynis, came to acquire the domain.

Most of the images and navigation on Bastille-linux.org are currently broken. Nothing - benign or malign - is being offered for download through the site.

Beale is confident of regaining the domain via either legal action and the domain arbitration but his lawyers have warned him this may take some time even though the project trademarked the domain in 1999.

In one respect, the domain ambush is a blessing in disguise. Bastille Linux has run on two non-Linux platforms, Mac OSX and HP-UX, for years. So its name has become a bit misleading. The loss of the Bastille-linux.org website provides an opportunity to rebrand the software as Bastille Unix.

"We've purchased the Bastille-Unix.org domain and will set the Bastille-Linux.org website to transparently forward to the Bastille-Unix.org website once we get the domain back," Beale explains in a statement on SourceForge.

He includes his PGP fingerprint in a posting on the incident. This cryptographic key will be used to sign any Bastille Unix downloads and critical email announcements, he adds. ®

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