Fat Turtle Herb Company is under cyberattack from China! Or is it?
Last night I got this email:
from: Robert Meng
date: Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 9:24 PM
subject: Urgently-fatturtleherbs Domain names Announcement
(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward to the right person/ department, this is urgent, thank you.)
We are the department of registration service in China. we have something need to confirm with you. We formally received an application on Jan.14, 2010, One company which is called " Tatief Trading Co.,LTD. " is applying to register "fatturtleherbs" as brand name and domain names as below :
After our initial checking, we found the brand name and these domain names being applied are as same as your company's, so we need to confirm with your company. If the aforesaid company is your business partner or your subsidiary company, please DO NOT reply us, we will approve the application automatically. If you have no any relationship with this company, please contact us within 7 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by " Tatief Trading Co.,LTD ." unconditionally.
A range of thoughts and emotions went through me, in roughly this order:
1. Okay, is this spam?
2. Wait, it looks pretty real. Shit!
3. What's the difference between a copyright and a trademark?
4. Damn the Chinese!
5. Man, we're so big that someone wants to cybersquat on some associated domain names. Oh yeah....
I looked up Tatief Trading Co. Nothing. I looked up FoWa, the company where the email originated from - it seems to be a domain-registration company based in Shanghai. I noticed that the email from Robert Meng came from a .com address, whereas FoWa has a .org address. So I sent an email to the general inquiries desk at FoWa, rather than replying to Robert (what if, by replying, I install some sort of weird virus or tracking software on my computer?). Of course I told them that we are NOT affiliated in any way with the aforementioned company.
After about a half hour, I calmed down. Who cares if someone takes those domain names in Taiwan and China? We're not planning on opening up operations overseas. Pharmacy is a very local business - patients need herbs, now. And I'm not about to pay to reserve "fatturtleherbs.whatever" for every single country, because there are a zillion of them.
So, in closing, remember that www.fatturtleherbs.com is the only legitimate web address for Fat Turtle Herb Company. Thanks!