Recently, the more astute among you may have noticed that the CyanogenMod project has begun to use the cyanogenmod.org domain rather than their previous .com version—a seemingly incongruous change, unfortunately driven by a malicious team member (turned rogue).
SatanR1, to use his username, bought the .com domain name for CyanogenMod via his company, Metserve Enterprises, when they started their own site to host builds and infrastructure such as their build system and distribution network. At some point in the past few months, the owner of the domain decided to fraudulently impersonate Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) towards companies, in order to seek donations and financial contributions. These were claimed to be going to the CyanogenMod project, but were in fact going directly to the impersonator himself.
To make matters worse, this user had (and has) full control of the .com domain name (which CyanogenMod are currently attempting to regain via the ICANN dispute procedure). The impersonator tried to extort $10,000 from the team to have the domain name returned (which they naturally cannot and will not pay). As of today, the domain name has been directed away from the project’s site, presumably in an attempt to try to gain some further money from the team.
To echo the request from the CyanogenMod Team,
If you are a company out there that believes they have also entered into agreements with “CM” by this person impersonating Steve, please contact Shade@chemlab.org. We’d like to get a handle on how widespread this was before we file charges.
The Android community is fairly tightly knit, and to see such a flagrant abuse of trust is frankly shocking. To see someone attempt to extort vast sums of money from an open source project (after already having obtained large sums of money by purporting to represent them to other companies) is likely very distracting for the team, yet they have pressed ahead with the release of CyangenMod 10 nonetheless.
I hope you will agree that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable, and that such unethical business practices, especially by someone operating under the guise of their business, should be condemned by the community as a whole.
Update: Thankfully, it appears as if the situation is now resolved.