Is It Possible To Spoof A Domain Name
The problem with InterNIC authentication is that they do NOT send a confirmation email if the request is sent from the same email as the person owning the contact or the domain name itself! Therefore, utilizing this flaw one could spoof anyones email address and change any domain names information.
Rely On Your Domain Registrar
If you can get your domain registrars support team on the case, that will be the fastest option for recovering your stolen domain.
If youre not sure who to contact, a WHOIS lookup will identify the registrar and give you the needed contact information.
Depending on your registrar, you may be asked to submit a complaint form to report an unauthorized transfer of your domain, and youll need to provide documentation that proves that you are the rightful owner of the domain.
In some cases, as soon as you contact your registrar and explain the issue, theyll immediately begin investigating your account. If they find clear evidence that someone has stolen your domain, your registrar will help you take the required action to recover it.
Theres one case where the registrar probably wont helpif the criminals have already transferred your domain to a different registrar. If thats happened, dont waste any effort contacting the new registrar, its time to go directly to the domain policeICANN.
Domain Theft: How To Avoid Buying Stolen Domain Names And Protect Your Own Domains
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Previously we shared some interesting tips about , where we discussed a few concepts, information and tips to prevent this kind of malicious activity against your domain names.
Domain stealing, also known as domain theft, is a common criminal activity on the Internet. It consists in transferring your domain name illegally to another registrar, without you knowing about it.
As you know, 99.9% of online-based businesses depend on their domain names, so when this happens their entire online business can suffer as a result.
What would happen if you went to work one morning to discover that your email, webpage, and the rest of your web-based services were no longer working? Then you asked your web hosting technical support for help and was told that the web-server was working just fine?
You might eventually realize that its a domain name problem. Digging into the domain details youd find that your DNS no longer points to your nameservers, and even worse, your domain name was transferred to a new registrar, and now belongs to a new person.
That could be your worst nightmare.
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Who Sets Domain Name Prices
Think of domain sales as two distinct categories.The first is the domain registration fee that needs to be paid once a year for every domain. This price varies by extension and registrar but is generally between $10 $20. Much of the price that registrars charge goes directly to the registry that manages the domain name. For example, Verisign currently charges $7.85 per .com domain name per year. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers set limits on how much domain registries can charge for each domain name. The second is the price you pay for a domain that is already registered. For example, if you search for a domain and it is already registered or unavailable, you will need to make an offer to the owner of the domain. This price is not controlled by anyone it is dictated by supply and demand. People pay high prices for things that they perceive to be valuable. That is how we end up with multimillion-dollar domain sales. For more information on the relationship between registries and registrars, click here.
What Are Hijacked Domains Used For
Why are domain names hijacked? What can a hijacker do with a stolen domain? Hackers may want to steal your domain for several reasons. As you can imagine they are always looking for economic gain. Usually, the hijacked domains become inaccessible and your online identity under that domain, i.e. your website, is no longer to be found. A ruinous outcome since your business relies on its website as a source of income. This is why the hacker may ask for a ransom to transfer the domain back to you. In other cases, the hijacker could replace your website with another similar one and misuse it for phishing or other malicious activity. A real threat for your users who may mistakenly enter their sensitive information, such as bank details, on this new bogus website. The hacker could also impersonate your brand identity and damage your reputation with fake news or negative statements. The hacker can also resell your domain name, once it was successfully transferred.
Notable cases of domain hijacking
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Phishing Attacks Happen Dont Get Caught
Phishing attacks combine social engineering with technical trickery as a means of obtaining your private account information. They can come in the form of spoofed emails leading to a bogus website, where the attackers fool people into divulging usernames, passwords, and other account details.
The criminals who perpetrate phishing attacks are clever. Theyll send you an email that looks exactly like one from your registrar, or maybe theyll even make it appear that ICANN is reaching out to you.
Theyll mimic the design and layout of a genuine email and come up with a convincing email address. For example, your registrar may correspond with you from myregistar.com phishing attackers will send from an account like myregistarsupport.com or myregistaradmin.com.
One way to guard against phishing attacks is to approach any email from your registrar with caution. Rather than clicking a link in the email, open a web browser and log into your domain account as you normally would. The email may be trying to trick you with a false report of an account issue. If you access your account via the sites login page and dont see a notification about the problem, alarm bells should go off.
Other types of attacks involve criminals installing spyware on your computer to steal login credentials using a keylogger application, for example.
Domain Names Can Be Stolen Just Like Other Types Of Personal Property
Domain names, once registered, are the private property of the registrant. In other words, domain name registrants are owners of domain name property, and this property can be stolen or misappropriated just like any other type of property.
We can take rapid legal action to recover your stolen or hijacked domain names.
Kronenberger Rosenfeld has represented parties in multiple types of domain theft cases, and we have taken legal action both against domain name thieves and against registrars that were either complicit or negligent. We have also litigated various types of partnership disputes involving domain names.
Feel free to submit your domain name theft or misappropriation matter to our firm using our online case submission form or call us at , ext. 120.
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Which Domain Extension Is Best
Because business needs differ, its impossible to say which domain extension is best. It depends on what is best for your specific business needs. With that said, if your goal is to reach as many customers as you can, you cant go wrong with .com, the most popular top-level domain . For more information about the different domain extensions, click here.
Protect Your Unique Brand Name / Logo
If you have a unique brand name or logo, protect it. It is a simple thing for someone to snatch it out from under you and claim ownership of it. Your first step should be to register the name as a trademark. You can do this online through a number of services or hire an attorney.
If you choose to register online, I recommend you do some searches to make sure the name isn’t already in use by someone else. Search Google, search the trademark database and search social media sites. If the name isn’t in use, then you are ready to move forward and start the trademark process.
You’ll have to fill out a ton of paperwork and common words can’t be trademarked. For example, if the word Biz is part of your name, you can’t just trademark the word Biz as thousands of businesses use that word. However, you can probably trademark a combination of words, such as Biz Tipz for You.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office will be in touch with any concerns over common words and will work out a solution with you that works for you and for others who might already be using a word like biz.
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Watch For Trademark Violations
Once you’ve registered your business name, you’ll want to monitor your local area, social media and search engines for violations and protect your trademark by notifying anyone using your trademarked name to cease and desist.
Protecting your trademark is vital because people can set up shop using a similar name and do business. This can ruin your reputation as the consumer thinks you are one and the same as the fly-by-night company.
When Hackers Steal A Web Address Few Owners Ever Get It Back
For nearly two decades, Michael Lee owned a prized piece of Internet real estate: the website MLA.com. The three letters stood for his graphic design and advertising business, Michael Lee and Associates, but they also represented an unusual investment opportunity. A short or memorable Internet address can be worth thousands or even millions of dollars. reportedly paid $8.5 million to buy Fb.com in 2010, while Porn.com went for $9.5 million in 2007.
Lee, 58, bought his domain in 1997 for a modest $600. A domain name appraiser recently valued the website at $47,000. Lee planned to eventually sell MLA.com and use the money as part of his retirement.
That is, until May of last year, when he received shocking news: A hacker had stolen his website, and there was nothing GoDaddy, his domain registrar, could do to get it back.
Thats when I freaked out, he said in a recent interview.
Michael Lee’s domain name, MLA.com, was stolen last year. He still hasn’t got it back.
A lot of customers have said, I tried to email you and it kept bouncing back, so I gave the job to someone else, Lee said in an interview. Ive lost a ton of business. Ive also lost a three-letter domain that I was counting on for my retirement.
Jonathan Askin says domain theft victims have little legal recourse.
Its a serious problem without any legitimate recourse, Askin said.
A short, catchy domain name can be worth millions of dollars, making the URLs valuable targets for hackers.
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Domain Hijacking Has Critical Consequences For Your Business
Are you a domain owner or do you run multiple domains for your clients? A successful domain hijacking is almost equivalent to depriving you of your business, profits, and earnings and it seriously impacts your future, leading to loss of customers and a worse online reputation. Among all the possible worst-case scenarios, domain hijacking can be a real nightmare come true. It happens out of the blue without warnings and it can remain unnoticed for hours or even weeks. We invite you to keep reading to discover how domains can get stolen and what you can do to avoid this from happening.
An Ounce Of Prevention For Domain Squatting
Its easier to avoid being the victim of a domain squatter than clean up afterward. Here are five tips to help prevent losing a domain in the future:
1. Register the domain you want before you need it
Act when you find the domain you want. Adding a domain to your cart does not prevent someone else from putting it in theirs. Domain squatters often buy recently searched domain names in hopes of selling it to the original searcher.
2. Register similar names
Consider buying domains with multiple extensions, such as .com, .co, .biz, etc., to prevent squatters from buying them. Research common misspellings of your domain and consider registering them as well.
3. Purchase domain ownership protection
GoDaddy offers Protected Registration to help ensure that you retain registration of your domain name, regardless of expiration dates or attempts to transfer.
4. Register a trademark
5. Be the owner of record
Prevent someone else from holding your domain hostage. If an employee or third-party registers a domain name on your behalf, make sure they do it in your name.
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What Is Domain Squatting
So, how can you tell what is domain squatting? Its important to note the difference between the legitimate practice of buying and selling of domain names and when it crosses the line. In short, it all comes down to intent. Domain name squatting is the act of purchasing a generic top-level domain to block someone else from registering it, to profit from reselling it, or for selling ads.
Domain squatting differs from domaining. By domaining, we mean buying domain names with potential value to any number of buyers based on habits, interests or trends. Then, the domain owner either auctions them on the domain aftermarket to the highest bidder or sells them through a domain broker.
Costs For A Udrp Dispute Proceeding
Fees for the arbitration panel generally range between $1,500 to $4,500, depending on the number of panelists and domain names involved. These fees are in addition to any legal fees paid to the attorneys.
Legal fees will vary, depending not just on the time and effort put into the case, but also on the attorneys billable rates.
By way of example, Minc Law attorneys charge between $250 and $600 per hour, and our paralegals and law clerks bill $100 to $150 an hour.
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Have You Ever Heard Of Domain Hijacking What If We Simply Call It Domain Theft A Cold Shiver Went Down Your Spine Find Out How Hijackers Can Gain Access To A Domain Name And What You Can Do To Recover Your Stolen One
Lets talk about Sarah, a fashion designer from Berlin, and her bad adventure with domain hijacking. She had recently launched her small internet retail showcase of vintage and pin-up clothing and dresses. She was very lucky to get a valuable domain name matching perfectly the name of her business. Within a few years the revenue first doubled, then tripled, and what had started as a hobby was about to become her dream full-time job. One day one of her best clients wrote to her that there seemed to be a problem with her website. Sarah typed the address in the browser bar and she found out her domain name redirected to another similar website with vintage products. But despite looking very similar, this was not her showcase website! She rushed to call her IT expert but she was confused hearing: “It looks like your domain has been hijacked”. She had never heard of this term before and, unfortunately, she had to experience it in the worst way. The unexpected worst case scenario had occurred: someone managed to obtain the ownership of her domain name, transferred it, and perhaps even sold it! Now it belongs to someone else, perhaps a competitor in another country. Overnight, along with her web presence, she lost access to her online business identity.