The Canadian student who auctioned the domain tsunamirelief.com on eBay intended to do it for charity but pulled the auction due to negative press. Now the domain has been purchased for USD 10,000 by Universal Spheres Inc, an Antigua-based company that runs online casinos at www.goldenpalace.com and previously known for installing adware and other software on users computers without their knowledge. The International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology writes this about Golden Palace:
Golden Palace Casino is an e-gambling program, which constantly appears on your computer screen every time you restart your computer system.
Internet Security Systems has this to say about the casino:
Golden Palace Casino loads whenever Internet Explorer starts and bypasses most security software because it acts as a part of the Web browser. Golden Palace Casino is adware (advertising oriented spyware) that opens advertisements during a user’s Internet Explorer browsing session. Golden Palace Casino could allow a remote attacker to execute malicious code on the victim’s computer.
There is a link to Golden Palace from the tsunami web site which probably will attract a significant amount of visitors to their online casino. Sure even online casinos must be able to help by donating money, but a critical approach to this reporting wouldn’t hurt, but many bloggers and big media like Reuters and Svenska Dagbladet, are spreading the word without a second thought.