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'Cybercrime' ISP back online in the US

Intercage accused of being haven to criminals

Pressure from computer security researchers may have knocked controversial US ISP Intercage offline, but not for long.

The San Francisco company, accused of being a haven to online criminals, is now back, just days after its last upstream network provider, Pacific Internet Exchange, dropped it as a customer.

Pacific had been Intercage's point of contact with the internet's backbone, but it had dropped Intercage's service on Saturday, knocking the controversial ISP offline.

On Tuesday, however, Intercage was live again, this time with upstream service provided by UnitedLayer, a San Francisco company that operates out of the same San Francisco colocation facility as Intercage and Pacific Internet Exchange.

"I knew it was a mater of time before they went online, but I didn't think it would be so quick," said Matt Jonkman, an Intercage critic who contributed to a white paper documenting criminal activity on the Intercage network. Jonkman, an independent security researcher, figured that Intercage would be forced out of the US because of its reputation for permitting spammers and online criminals to use its network with impunity.

The white paper, published last month, characterises Intercage, as a "major hub of cyber crime", and describes 78 percent of the domains operating on its network as "hostile".

In recent weeks, other upstream providers, including Pacific Internet Exchange, have terminated Intercage's service, but the deal with UnitedLayer gives Intercage a last, tenuous link to the internet.

Intercage President Emil Kacperski did not return messages seeking comment. But he has said previously that his company has been working harder at removing bad operators from its network and being more responsive to complaints.

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