Internet firm restricts virus-themed website registrations

BOSTON (AP) — An internet firm that registers website domain names says it will combat coronavirus-related fraud by ending automated registration of website names that include words or phrases related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles-based Namecheap informed customers of the new policy after a federal judge in Texas ordered the takedown of a website the U.S. Department of Justice accused of stealing credit card information while offering fake coronavirus vaccine kits.

Cybersecurity firms have reported a big jump in recent weeks in coronavirus-related internet domains and say many are the work of cybercriminals. Other domain registrars aren’t following suit, although they say they’re on the lookout for fraudulent sites.

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