Recently, there has been an uptick in the number of Domains Which are being stolen. I am not sure whether it’s because of the worldwidepandemic and people are becoming more desperate for money, or in case domain thieves are taking advantage of the shifting digital and technologyatmosphere. COVID-19 is inducing more people 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. This could be why we’re seeing more and more online scams, phishing like Google Ads phishing, and online theft in general.
When I think of electronic resources, I think of several distinct types. Our electronic assets may include access to your bank account on line, access to accounts like cryptocurrency accounts, and payment transactionsites such as PayPal, Masterbucks, and Venmo. Then there’s online shopping websites’ logins, such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay, where most probably you have an account where your payment data is stored. Apple Purchase and Google Pay are others, as well as your web site hosting account that manages your email (unless you utilize Gmail.com or Outlook.com), and, ultimately, your domain name. In case your domain goes lost, then you eliminate a lot: accessibility to email, as well as your website probably will return, where you’ll eliminate visibility, online sales, and clients. Online thieves are hacking websites and anywhere there’s a login, since they’re attempting to get to your digital resources.
Protecting Online Accounts
A Lot of Us are now used to protecting our online accounts by using a Unique, protected password for each login that we’ve got online. An important part of protecting digital resources, and domains, would be to make surethatyou get a secure password and two-factor authentication set up to your login at your domain registrar. In many cases, if a burglar gains access into an account at a domain registrar, the consequences can be catastrophic if you don’t have additional protections in place to safeguard your domain name.
Hackers who gain access to your domain registrar’s account may do a few things that would interrupt your company:
They can point the domain name to another web server, perhaps their”copy” of your website. You’d think that it’s the copy, however, the copy may contain malicious code.I’ve even seen them direct online sales from a copy of your website to them so that they benefit monetarily from it via identity theft or diverting funds. They might even keep your samecontact information on the WHOIS record so thatit seems like you still have it–but the domain may be moved into their account. When it’s from your account and you no longer control the domain name, then they have stolen the domain and canresell it. Whenever they start the transfer then they haveattempted to steal the domain name, and as soon as it’s transferred then it’s regarded as stolen. They can keep the exact same name servers so that it stillpoints to your website, and therefore you don’t notice that it’s stolen.
Digital thieves know that domains are valuable, since they’re Digital assets that may be sold for thousands, tens ofthousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars. Regrettably, domain crimes generally go un-prosecuted. In many cases, the domain thieves are not found in precisely the exact same country as the sufferer. All of themhave exactly the exact same thing in common: they want to benefit monetarily from stealing the domain name. Here’s a couple domain crimes that I’ve seen recently:
A organization’s account at a domain registrar was hacked (using social engineering).
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 through cryptocurrency. The seller transferred the domain name when they were given details of the cryptocurrency transaction. They were scammed, and dropped the domain name.
A domain name owner who has a portfolio of domain names gets their account hacked at a domain registrar. The owner doesn’trealize 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 her or his account hacked at the domain registrar and domains are transferred out to a different registrar. They then sell the domains to somebody else, and the domainsare transferred again to a different registrar. This happens several times, with various registrars. People who purchased the domain names don’t know they are stolen, and they shed any investment that they made in the domains. At times it’s hard to unravel cases similar to this, asthere are several owners and registrars involved.
All these happened in the previous two to three months. And so are just Examples of where the domain name owner could have done something to block the domain name theft. In the case of the domain sale scam, the seller must have employed a domain escrow assistance, there are several reputable escrow services, such as Epik.com’s Domain Escrow Services, as well as Escrow.com that manages domain name sales.
Just just how can you minimize the danger of your domain getting stolen?
Transfer your domain name to a protected registrar.
Log in to your registrar account on a regular basis.
Set up registry (transfer lock) on your domain name.
Check WHOIS data regularly.
Renew the domain name for several years or”eternally”.
Use additional security features at your own Password.
Protect your domain using a domain name warranty.
Think about moving your domain to a protected domain name registrar. There are registrars that have not kept up with common safetypractices, like letting you set up 2-Factor Authentication inyour account, Registrar Lock (that halts domain transfers), and even preparing a PIN number on your account for customer serviceinteractions.
Log in to your domain registrar’s account on a regular basis. I Can’t actually say how frequently you need to do this, but you should get it done on a regular schedule. Log in, be sure you stillhave the domain name(s) in your account, 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.
Establish Registrar Lock or”transport lock” on your domain name. Some It is a setting that makes certain thatthe domain cannot be transferred into another account without needing it turned off. Some go so far as maintaining it”on” unless they get verbal confirmation that it should be transferred.
Check the WHOIS data on the domain name. Test it openly on a Public WHOIS, like at ICANN’s WHOIS, WhoQ, or at your registrar. In case the domain is using WHOIS Privacy, send an email to the obfuscated email address to make sure you get the email.
Renew your domain name for several years. Years for valuable domains (or ones thatyou don’t wish to shed). You can get a “eternally” domain registration at Epik.com.
Request the registrar in the event the account access can be restricted based on Request the registrar if the account may be restricted from logging in by a USB Device, like a bodily Titan Security Key, or a Yubikey. In case you have Google Advanced Protection enabled on your Google Account, you may have two physical keys to get that Google Account (and a few advanced security in the Google backend). You’d then have those Advanced Protection keys fromGoogle to protect the domains on Google Domains.
Consider protecting your domain name(s) using a domain name warranty or service that protects those digital resources, such as DNProtect.com.
It is harder for the fraudsters and thieves to steal domains at those registrars. Some domain name registrars don’thave 24/7 technical assistance, they can outsource their customer serviceagents, and their domain name software is outdated.
Domain Name Thefts Occurring Right Now
As I write this today, I have been informed of 20 very Valuable domains that were stolen by their owners in the last 60 days. For example, of two cases I personally affirmed, the domain names were stolen out of one specific domain registrar, based in the united states. The domains were transferred to another domain registrar in China. Both these firms who have the domains are, in reality, based in the USA. Thus, it’s not logical that they’dmove their domain names into some Chinese domain name registrar.
In the case of both domains, this same domain thief kept The domain ownership records undamaged, and they bothshow the priorowners. However, in 1 case, part of the domain contact record was altered, and the prior owner’s speech is current, however, the final portionof the speech is listed as a Province in China, and not Florida, in whichthe business whose domain name has been stolen is located.
What tipped us off into those stolen domain casesis the factthat both Domains were listed for sale on a popular domain name market. But, these are domains where the overall consensus of the value would be over $100,000 each, and were listed for 1/10th of the value. It is too good to be true, and probably it isstolen. The same is true for all these domains that are allegedly stolen. The price provides them away, and, in this case, the possession records (the WHOIS documents) also show evidence of the theft.
Digital resources, and make sure thatthey are using a domain registrar That has evolved and adapted with the times. A Couple of minutes spent Sensibly, securing your electronic resources, is critical in times such as these. It may be the difference between your valuable digital assets and web Properties being guarded, or potentially subjected to theft and risk.