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Stolen Domain Name - recovered



5:54 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Following on from my thread in January, I thought I would let you know that I have recovered my stolen domain name.

I don't want to go into details of how this was achieved as it would identify me and the domain (although everything that was done was legal etc.),
but I just wanted to say that I didn't give up hope and also, the message to anyone else in this position, never stop making phone calls, emailing, publicizing and fighting, until you get justice.

I think I might join a group and form a policy on this subject and which could then become proper law to defend domainers from scallywag thieves.


7:36 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Good news! Your hard work has paid off.

man in poland

11:48 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well done, SilverShine! It's always heart-warming to hear such news in this particularly murky part of the internet business.


2:38 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Thank you so much for letting us know! :)


3:12 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

I remember the post well, but it was it a stolen domain?
everything that was done was legal etc
or everthing you did to recover it was legal?

Congratulations on not giving up.........


3:38 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I don't want to go into details of how this was achieved as it would identify me and the domain

First, here's one more :) in celebration of a happy ending.

Second, I pulled a quote because I'm a bit bothered by what it represents = a suggestion that there's a methodology "that works" without a willingness to share anything about that methodology. I'm bothered because everyone here gave you their best input about "what to do" and, having had some success, the best you offer is . . . "I've got nothing to share about it." In my book, in the context of this community, which is built upon sharing info and helping one another, that's just not . . hospitable.

Frankly, I'd be surprised - given that there's 100+ million domains currently registered - that disclosing something "about the method" - without naming the domain, the registrar or yourself - "would give it all away", i.e., your identity OR the domain.

So I'm asking, as politely as I can, that you at least provide an outline of "the method that worked".

For the record, you aren't the first person to recover a domain that was actually acquired by fraud. In most cases "the recovery" came down to the aggrieved party producing satisfactory proof of the corruption and delivering that to the registrars involved in the transfer. Often in these situationa, if an account has been corrupted, there is more than ample proof as the predator tends to be . . greedy = takes more than 1 domain AND, sadly, often immediately begins to attempt to sell the domains.

I suspect there's nothing magic, as short of a) filing a lawsuit or getting the right legal authorities involved; b) filing a WIPO proceeding; c) producing compelling proof of actual fraud to registrars prone to good faith and fair dealing; or, d) running an effective publicity campaign, there's few other options I've come across.

So, again, I'm asking: What did it take? Was the domain, in fact, fraudulently transferred away from your account? Did the receiving party/registrant willingly participate in any way in returning the domain? Was there a bona fide "system glitch" that, once everyone was properly notified, everyone acted in good faith to restore things?

Was it lawyers, guns and/or money? ;) and :P


3:33 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

OK. I wasn't seeking to be unhelpful or anything that could be regarded as being a negative spirit and I am sorry that I inadvertently gave the impression, at least to WW, that I was.

Although I pursued all the suggestions given to me that I could, none of them were, in the end for me, practical, economically viable or even worthwhile, such as reporting the theft to the local Police station, which was a total waste of time as the local police officers stared puzzling at me, with one of those "Homer Simpson blinking moments" when I told them that "a domain name I own was stolen"... tumbleweed drifted past us, etc.

With regards to ICANN and WIPRO, these organizations are not setup to help individuals with relatively small or low cost/value cases, as mine was and also, I did not find any organization/body of people that are actually setup to help someone in my position.

So what did I do?

I started searching in Google with all kinds of phrases and word combinations to see what experiences other people had, both generally as domain name thefts as well as those who had the names stolen while with the same registrar as I was with.

I eventually found a number of web forums/blogs which had a number of domain name thefts documented in detail, as well as first hand accounts of scandalous and downright criminal behavior being carried out by registrars, at all levels in their businesses.

I was in sheer disbelief as to what I was reading and the stories where all about well known internet/domain name companies, that everyone would all know of, immediately.

It was through one case of a domain name theft that I found the contact details of a past victim and who agreed to help me after speaking with me and checking on some info about the theft.
They then went on the offensive and publicized the theft on some web forums, to flush out the thief, which was successful.
The effect of this was like throwing a stone in a pond, with the ripple effect of other domainers joining in to denounce the thief, so effectively shaming them in public.

The thief claimed to be innocent of a charge of theft and went on and on defending themselves in great detail, but unfortunately for them, they inadvertently revealed in their postings that they were indeed the thief (because they were a bit dim/stupid) and once we informed the registrar of this effective confession and sent them the link to the thread, they were happy to restore the domain back to my account.

I am still not clear how my domain name was stolen, but I have changed to a registrar who gives private whois and account access restrictions via IP address, as standard and I have changed and reinforced all my account information.


3:36 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I forgot to mention that the thief had placed the domain for sale on several web sites as well as their own.
I managed to get the domain removed from 2 of these sites, one of which is a very well known name.


3:48 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

bwnbwn: I am not 100% clear what you mean, but I suppose you could class the tactics that were employed as partly guerilla, but everything was out in the open and clear, so there was no "sending the boys round" to the thief's home or anything of that style of persuasion.


4:39 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

What an interesting and most unusual tale . . of triumph of right/good over evil. ;)

Thank you for sharing it. Extraordinary. A thief who publicly admits to his own chicanery. Stupifying. Mindboggling. What good fortune for you.


4:51 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well, they hadn't realized what they had written until it was too late.


5:16 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Lucky you. ;)

I'm still not clear, though, "how" the theft was carried out. You once suggested that your registrar was involved in carrying out the theft:

I suspect that there was inside involvement from the registrar.

What was revealed about "how" the domain was removed from your account? Was it indeed "an inside job" and did heads roll as a result of your investigation and efforts?


11:41 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The registrar denied the possibility of they being responsible, through nefarious deeds by their staff or that there was or is any security breach/problem in their sysyems.

During my enquiries, I discovered that the registar had moved from one computing platform environment to a another, which is well known for holes in its security and it was following this change that a lot of thefts had occurred.

Either way, the registrar is not secure.

[edited by: Webwork at 12:17 pm (utc) on Feb 25, 2010]
[edit reason] Per WebmasterWorld TOS and Charter please avoid "calls to action" [/edit]


6:05 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

SilverShine now I see how the thieft was done. I was asking was the transfeer of the domain done legally not your getting it back. You answered me in the disclosure of how you felt it was obtained.

Very useful post thanks web for drawing it out in such a nice way and thanks silver for sharing this information I am sure it will benifit many others that this may (hopefully not) happen too.

I consider myself favored as were I have the majority of my domain names they know me by my name and feel this will be a big plus if such a problem happens to me. I did move my oldest domain name to another register due to the fact I didn't want my main domain name at the same place I had the domain hosted.


1:24 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

bwnbwn: The "transfer" was not legal, as per my original post in my previous thread.

The registrar claimed that the only way the "transfer" could of taken place was with the other person knowing my account details.

Since I have not given my account details to anyone and since I did not agree to sell or give my domain to anyone, the person who "transferred" the domain name to their account did so by stealing it.

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