There are essentially 2 ways hackers go about stealing a name. One involves changing the ownership without the owner knowing it, and the other is to get technical and/or financial control of the domain.
Changing ownership is sometimes difficult to achieve. It depends on the Registrar. NSI seems to have the best rules to protect owners. The old and new owners must sign a document in the presence of a notary (who also signs). And an original of the document must be sent by snail mail. There are some registrars that request a copy of ID and/or letter head in addition to the 2 signatures, but since everything is transmitted through fax, the images are usually impossible to make out. More commonly though, I've seen registrars ask for the 2 signatures sent by fax, and nothing more. Especially if the company making the request is one of their partners or resellers.
If a registrar's rules are too tight, a person can easily transfer a domain name to a more convenient registrar. Only a handful of registrars send e-mail to request the owner or administrative contact to validate the transfer. Others, like NSI, send an e-mail after the transfer. And if the e-mail is no longer valid?
E-mail invalidity is the most common reason domain names are stolen. There are many ways to work around the rules and change contacts.
Make sure to update your e-mail, telephone number, and address regularily.
To prevent domain name stealing, make sure that your registrar uses the following procedures:
1)All registrar transfer requests must be validated by the owner or they will not go through.
2)Make sure that the owner address, telephone #, and e-mail are always up to date.
3)Make sure that all contacts' information is up to date.
4)Make sure that your registrar uses tough ownership transfer rules.