Lately, there’s been an uptick in the Amount of domain names That are being stolen. I am not positive if it’s due to the globaloutbreak and people are getting more desperate for cash, or if domain thieves are using the changing digital and technologyenvironment. COVID-19 is causing more of us to become online and conduct business online. But that also means that many don’t fully understand how to properly protect their digital assets, such as domains.
While I think of digital assets, I think of several different kinds. Our digital assets can consist of access to a bank account on line, access to accounts such as cryptocurrency accounts, and payment tradesites such as PayPal, Masterbucks, and Venmo. Then there’s online shopping sites’ logins, such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay, where most probably you have an account where your payment data is saved. Apple Pay and Google Pay are others, in addition to your web site hosting account which handles your email (unless you utilize Gmail.com or Outlook.com), and, finally, your domain name. If your domain goes lost, then you eliminate a lot: accessibility to email, in addition to your site most likely will return, where you’ll eliminate visibility, online sales, and clients. Online thieves are hacking sites and anywhere there’s a login, since they’re trying to access your digital assets.
Many of us are now Utilized to safeguarding our online accounts by using a Unique, protected password for every login that we have online. An significant part protecting digital assets, and domains, is to make sureyou get a safe password and two-factor authentication setup to your login in your domain registrar. In many cases, if a burglar gains access into an account in a domain registrar, the results can be disastrous if you don’t have additional protections in place to protect your domain name.
Hackers who access your domain registrar’s account can do a few things that would disrupt your business:
They could point the domain name to another web server, perhaps their”copy” of your site.
The thief or hacker could push the domain name into their account. They may even keep your contact info on the WHOIS record so it looks like you still own it–but the domain may be transferred into their account. When it’s out of your accounts and you no longer control the domain name, then they have stolen the domain and mayresell it. Whenever they start the transfer then they’veattempted to steal the domain name, and when it’s transferred then it’s regarded as stolen. They may keep the exact same name servers so that it stillpoints to your site, so you don’t detect that it’s stolen.
Digital thieves know that domains are valuable, because they are Digital assets which can be sold for thousands, thousands, hundreds of thousands, as well as millions of dollars. Unfortunately, domain crimes generally go un-prosecuted. In many cases, the domain thieves are not found in the exact same country as the sufferer. All of themhave the exact same thing in common: they wish to benefit monetarily from stealing the domain name. Following is a couple domain crimes that I’ve seen lately:
A organization’s account in a domain registrar was hacked (using social engineering). The business was involved in cryptocurrency, thusgaining access to the domain name allowed for the hackers to access the organization’s crypto exchange.
The domain burglar introduced as a domain buyer, telling the domain owner they wanted to purchase their domain for a few thousand dollars. The buyer and seller agreed to a price, the burglar told them that they could pay them via cryptocurrency. The seller transferred the domain name once they had been given details of this cryptocurrency transaction. They had been scammed, and dropped the domain name.
A domain name owner that has a portfolio of valuabledomain names gets their accounts hacked in a domain registrar. The owner does notcomprehend this, and the domains are transferred to another registrar in a different country. The gaining registrar is stubborn (or in on the theft), and will not return the domains.
A domain name owner has his or her accounts hacked in the domain registrar and domains are transferred out to a different registrar. Then they sell the domains to someone else, and the domainsare transferred again to a different registrar. This occurs several times, with various registrars. Those who purchased the domain names don’t know they are stolen, and they lose any investment that they made in the domains. Sometimes it’s difficult to unravel cases like this, asthere are several owners and registrars involved.
All ofthese happened in the previous two to three months. And are only Examples of where the domain name owner could have done something to stop the domain name theft. In the instance of the domain sale scam, the vendor should have used a domain escrow service, there are several reputable escrow services, including Epik.com’s Domain Escrow Services, in addition to Escrow.com that handles domain name sales.
Just how do you minimize the risk of your domain getting stolen?
Move your domain name to a protected registrar.
Log into your registrar account on a regular basis.
Setup registry lock(transfer lock) in your domain name.
Assess WHOIS data regularly.
Renew the domain name for several years or”forever”.
Take advantage of additional security features at your own Password.
Shield your domain with a domain name guarantee.
Consider moving your domain to a protected domain name registrar. You will find registrars that have not kept up with common safetypractices, such as letting you set up 2-Factor Authentication onyour accounts, Registrar Lock (which halts domain transfers), as well as setting up a PIN number in your accounts for customer supportinteractions.
Log into your domain registrar’s accounts on a regular basis. I Can’t really say how frequently you need to do this, but you should do it on a normal schedule. Log in, make sure to stillhave the domain name(s) in your accounts, make sure they are on auto-renew, and nothing looks out of the normal. This less-than-5-minute task could literally save your domain from being stolen.
Set up Registrar Lock or”transfer lock” in your domain name. Some It’s a setting which makes certain the domain cannot be transferred into another account without needing it turned off. Some go as far as maintaining it”on” unless they get verbal confirmation which it needs to be transferred.
Check the WHOIS data on the domain name. Check it publicly on a Public WHOIS, such as in ICANN’s WHOIS, WhoQ, or in your registrar. Make certain it’s correct, even the email addresses.
Renew your domain name for several decades. I recommend at least 5. Years for precious domains (or ones you don’t want to shed). It’s possible to get a “forever” domain registration in Epik.com.
Ask the registrar in the event the accounts access can be restricted based on Ask the accounts if the accounts can be restricted from logging in by a USB Device, such as a physical Titan Security Key, or a Yubikey. If you have Google Advanced Protection enabled in your Google Account, you may have two physical keys to access that Google Account (and some advanced security in the Google backend). You’d then have those Advanced Protection keys out ofGoogle to protect the domains on Google Domains.
Look at protecting your domain name(s) with a domain name guarantee or service which protects those digital assets, including DNProtect.com.
It’s harder for the fraudsters and thieves to steal domains at these registrars. Some domain name registrars don’thave 24/7 technical support, they may outsource their customer supportrepresentatives, and their domain name registrarsoftware is obsolete.
As I write this today, I have been informed of 20 very Valuable domains which were stolen from their owners at the last 60 days. For example, of 2 cases I personally affirmed, the domain names were stolen from one particular domain registrar, based in the united states. The domains were transferred to another domain registrar in China. Both ofthese firms who own the domains are, in fact, based in the United States. So, it’s not plausible that they’dmove their domain names into a Chinese domain name registrar.
In the case of both domains, the same domain thief kept The domain name ownership records intact, and they show the formerowners. However, in one instance, part of this domain contact record was changed, along with the prior owner’s speech is present, however, the last portionof the speech is recorded as a Province in China, and not Florida, wherethe firm whose domain name has been stolen is situated.
What tipped us off into those stolen domain is that both Domains were listed for sale on a favorite domain name market. But, these are domains where the general consensus of this value would be over $100,000 per year, and were recorded for 1/10th of their value. Remember the 1 year old $150,000 Porsche listed for sale on Craigslist for $15,000? It’s too good to be true, and most likely it isstolen. The same is true for these domains which are supposedly stolen. The price gives them away, also, in this scenario, the ownership records (that the WHOIS documents) also reveal evidence of this theft.
Digital resources, and ensure they are with a domain registrar That has adapted and evolved with the times. A Couple of moments spent Sensibly, securing your digital assets, is imperative in times such as these. It can be the difference between your precious digital assets and internet Properties being guarded, or potentially subjected to theft and risk.