Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things. - T. S. Eliot
Gunmen Domain Hosts
March 14, 2007
For those of you that don't know, Gunmen are the people that you see blatantly advertise their services in most of the Public NNTP NewsGroups. They're also known as Hired Guns, or Proxy Exam Takers. Their services include taking exams for other people and stealing your money.
Gunman services in the United States won't make very much money, that's one reason you rarely find an exam gunman in the United States. However, in countries like India and China, Gunman services are huge. It's a way of life for many of them. China for instance, the average household income is roughly $650 per year (yes, YEAR) . Do the math:
1 Chinese yuan = 0.129133899 U.S. dollars
This page shows the Per Capita Annual Income of Urban and Rural Households and the Related Index
For the year 2000:
Rural = 2253.4 yuan = $290.99 USD
Urban= 6280.0 yuan = $810.96 USD
Add 'em up ($290.99 + $810.96 = $1101.95 ) and divide by 2 ($1101.95 / 2 = $550.97)
With inflation and the rise in salaries since the year 2000, I'm estimating around $650. It may be high, it may be low, but the point is this: In a country where the Average Annual Income is roughly 1/70th ours here in the United States, these gunmen are making a KILLING, these guys are living like kings.
Here's a breakdown:
In the United States, we know the Microsoft Certification Exams cost us $125 USD (subtract discounts where applicable). In Countries like China and India, those same exams only cost, the equivalent of, $50 USD. With the 20% discount that they ALWAYS take advantage of, that lowers their exam cost to $40 USD per exam.
Their gunman services usually run anywhere from $250 to $500 per exam, PER EXAM. Just two exams and they've already made their annual income, sometimes double that. Now, multiply that by the number of exams they take per day, or per week, or even per month. They've now made enough money to live like Bill Gates does here, in just a year's time.
The reason we're trying to shut down these gunmen is not because of the money. Everyone deserves to make money, but for christ's sake, do it legally. Teach people, help others make money, do something besides screw the IT Industry with it.
Although we are trying to shutdown every Gunman Website we find, some are more difficult than others, and the sites that we are getting shut down seem to be resurfacing after a few months. So, what can we do about them? Is there a way to permanently keep them from promoting their illegal services to the unsuspecting, less knowledgeable, people in the IT Industry?
I started CertGuard for this very reason, to stop gunmen from taking proxy exams. These people are the lowlifes that are causing the value of your certifications to drop faster than ever and they need to be stopped.
The main problem we've been running into lately is that the Gunmen have been finding Domain Hosting companies in their own countries. When the hosting company was US based it was much easier to just notify the host and have the gunman site shut down. Now, however, it has become more and more difficult to even reach the hosting companies because of the international boundaries.
Can legal action be taken on international companies?
Do Cease & Desist Orders pull any weight in countries abroad?
Does anyone know of a good source for answers to these questions?
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Danny (aka Adebisi) left us a comment on 3/17/2007
Robert Williams left us a comment on 3/25/2007