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The "Are They Really Monitoring Your Domain Queries" Challenge

Can It Be Proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Domain Sniffing Happens?



7:28 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One of my clients e-mailed me earlier this week about registering a domain name. I checked on the domain and it was available, so I e-mailed the client back. Today, my client finally sent me the approval to register the domain, but when I checked today, it had been registered by a domain name reseller. The domain name is too obscure for this to be a coincidence, so I want to know:

1. Do domain registrars release search information to domain resellers?

1B. If so, are there any registrars that don't do this?

2. Is it possible for domain resellers to track requests made by a certain company? How do they do this?

3. Is this legal? I know the answer is probably yes, but that's not what I want to hear.

Any answers to the above, or recommendations on the best way to relieve stress in this situation would be much appreciated. Thanks.


10:47 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I imagine that this is unusual for a domain. Interesting stuff! has anyone else seen this type of activity on one domain?

droplists and little if any traffic.


10:39 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I used a domain name for 1 year, didin't launch the site for lack of time and didn┐t renewed the domain after the year.

But after this, I couldn't buy the name again as it was already buyed. There is no website there... just ads.

The original name didn't had any traffic but me as I didn't launched the site, no visits, no nothing...


10:40 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I didn't get it... we are not supposed to give names of websites... mine is dead, always was... nad now somebody has the property of the name... in just days? no, it was automatic... like preordered.


11:16 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Very interesting and long thread that I dont have enough time to read but I want to share my experience in breif words.

Are they monitoring domain queries? Yes, they do. My brother whoised a great domain name and then I went to register it for him the next day to find it gone by some bulk domain registrar.

The solution? Whois using a whois tool like Sam Spade and others. They interact directly with public whois servers like crsnic, not non trust worthy domain registrars. If not for the policy here I would have named the famous company name.


7:54 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Not sure if this has already been posted before. I found this article from eWeek where the author tested a similar theory... interesting read!


In his test, all his domains were snapped up by some holding company after he queried them. Very interesting.

Rx Recruiters

6:25 am on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

As the purpose of this thread was to identify problems, I thought I'd ask this again: Does anyone know of a purported trademark typosquatter named "Maltuzi Holdings"? Do a Google search, and you'll fnd many examples of people checking their domain name one day, going to register it the next, and then finding that this company has just registered it. This is the company that registered the majority of the ones on my "list" for the challenge that were registered after I checked them. Some are still registered by them, some they let drop.


1:20 pm on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have an experience of registering more than a hundred domains and I can testify that this is actually happening because it happened to me a few times.

If you have any domain in mind, please do not use Whois to check for its availability. Key in the name in your browser or use Google to search for it. If nothing shows up, you can assume that the domain is available. Only then should you go to Godaddy or any other registrar to buy that domain. If you did not buy it immediately at Godaddy (Godaddy because that is my main registrar), then you will be disappointed later to discover that the domain has been taken.

What is strange to me is that on a few occasions it appears in the Whois record that the name is registered a few years earlier before my query. So, I wonder whether the registrar could alter the date of registration if they are the culprit.

Note: I am not saying that Godaddy is the culprit because before I wised up I used to use #*$! to query for domains. So, I am not really sure who was the culprit.

[edited by: Mistra at 1:38 pm (utc) on Dec. 4, 2006]


3:19 pm on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The ICANN is right now having a meeting in Sao Paulo. The future of WHOIS data, and prevention of abuse (Domain Tasting gets explicitely named there, but also privacy concerns) is one of their topics. The ICANN has a suggestion for future WHOIS development, and is asking for public feedback [icann.org] to it.


11:01 am on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Does anyone know of a purported trademark typosquatter named "Maltuzi Holdings"?

Domain counts as of first of each month:
Jan 0
Feb 0
Mar 0
Apr 0
May 0
Jun 0
Jul 0
Aug 0
Sep 0
Oct 1061772 ¦
Nov 731640
Dec¦ 1020808
Diff (Nov-Dec): 289168

I haven't checked the transfer activity (where domains came from and where they went) as I've just pulled this data from one of the stats databases here.


Rx Recruiters

5:14 am on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I saw, as well, where Maltuzi was holding over a million domains now (including some of my "great ideas" that were poached out from under me). They dropped one of the ones I wanted, but kept the main one - I'm sure it is getting a ton of type in traffic :_(

The address that Maltuzi lists is also the same as the West Coast office of TravelZoo.com, as well as some random lawye's offices. If I were in the area, I'd stop by and pop in for a chat.

[edited by: Rx_Recruiters at 5:15 am (utc) on Dec. 13, 2006]

Rx Recruiters

3:53 am on Dec 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Maltuzi is now listed as the 7th largest domain "host" in the United States, and the largest single domain name owner - perhaps in the world<snip>. They are kings of typosquatting - search on variations of James and Katie Kim (the CNET editor that died trying to save his family), and they've registered every variation you can think of. So, with over a million domains they are "tasting", it must be an automated system that scans news sources and domain traffic patterns - perhaps that is why we see them registering so many domains that we might attempt to register ourselves. Are they spying on whois searchs from web based platforms, who knows? Which ones? Are they buying whois results from web base domain search platforms? Some of them (the domain whois platforms) will tell you in their privacy statement that they may sell results - so I would guess that saomeone is buying them and seeing what domains are being looked up.

This is pretty interesting stuff - I'd like to see someone that is a professional in the industry comment on this company and how they are operating. Who's financing the million + domains? <snip>

[edited by: Rx_Recruiters at 4:04 am (utc) on Dec. 14, 2006]

[edited by: Webwork at 4:10 am (utc) on Dec. 14, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter, WebmasterWorld TOS; Please contact them directly for your other questions. Thank you. [/edit]


4:32 am on Dec 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The transcript to the recent ICANN San Paulo meeting can give a few clues.
This 132 message thread spans 5 pages: 132

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