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Lost Everything with Illegal Domain Transfer

Woke up and my domain had been transferred . . .

     
5:39 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I woke up this morning and a porn company had somehow transferred my locked domain from my domain name register. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It was locked and my domain register can give me no help on how it got transferred.

Is there any chance of getting it back? I make all my money on this one domain.

Help me please.

5:40 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would consult with an attorney real quick.
5:48 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Doing so now. I live in a small town so I don't even know if they are ready to deal with this.
5:51 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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omg, are things like this really possible? Was it expired at all?
6:04 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nope. Not expired.
6:10 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[pubcon.com...]

Met her at the last 2 PubCons, where we spoke on the domain legal issues panel.

I was impressed.

Form your own impression.

7:23 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Doing so now. I live in a small town so I don't even know if they are ready to deal with this.

I would try and get an experienced intellectual property rights attorney ASAP.

Try one of these guys.
www.esqwire.com
www.johnberryhill.com

9:29 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, I know how it was done. The company that did it got access to a very old administration address, which had been changed at least 4 years ago. I have several e-mails dealing with the my registration company doing administration busines with the new administrative contact including asking them to lock the domain. So how on earth can a locked domain get transferred on faulty administration contacts.
9:33 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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creepyc,

You have spoken with an attorney?

If what you say is correct, no response here can substitute for the legal assistance you're going to need.

10:46 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes. I've just been to a lawyer, paid a retainer, and he's writing letters to both domain companies. I have proof via e-mail correspondence with my registry that the 'admin' e-mail used to enact the transfer was long defunct. As far as the guy who did it, I don't even care. I just want my domain name back.
11:10 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So yes. Legal action is underway. What I'd like to know is there anyone who has been in a similar experience and did you win?
11:12 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Also did you ever do a whois and see that the name was locked or just assume that it was locked becuase you told them to do so?

In my opinon the new rule of allowing transfers to go through if not responded to in a few days it absolute B.S. and makes it eaiser for people to steal domains.

11:13 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What I'd like to know is there anyone who has been in a similar experience and did you win?

I never been in that situation but I'd surely be in discussions with the Registrar about this. The whole purpose of locking domains is to prevent this type of thing from happening. And, there is typically a security question that needs to be answered prior to unlocking a domain, how did this person acquire that?

11:15 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have NEVER seen any security question asked before and I have domains on several big registrars.

Also think they need to have those random character generaters you have to enter to access your account or someone could brute force attack to get access to your entire account.

11:22 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have NEVER seen any security question asked before and I have domains on several big registrars.

That makes me feel good in knowing that my Registrar whom I've been with for years has taken additional security measures to prevent domain transfers.

11:30 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes. It was locked according to the whois records that were publicly available. Curiously, the whois records were updated somehow last week on May 11th. So that is when it all began.
11:33 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Again, has anybody been through a similar experience? I need to know this to make realistic plans (and have realistic expectations). The site was an authority site with 1000s of links from libraries and universities. Roughly, 40,000 impressions per day for its niche.

I could start over but then I have to give up on all of those search engine rankings. Or I could fight and get it back and do some damage control.

11:46 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm sorry for you too guy! Look at my post, these greedy #*$!s are taking advantage of hard working people because they do not want to do the hard work! Make sense?
1:04 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I see now that this was all made possible because someone updated the whois records on May 11th. How is it possible to update whois records? What kind of acces would they have needed?
1:33 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That is unbelievable ...

And the registrar is trying to accept no responsibility? what have you been paying them for.. it is them that should be taking this to domain resolution .. as ultimately that will be your quickest and cheapest option..

If you wait for the legal system to sort it out you'll be grey by the time it is..

Personally I would go straight for resolution and sue your registrar for any costs...

1:38 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Have you spoken to your registrar on the phone? It seems if it was obvious that someone compromised your account they would bend over backwards to help you out because they don't need these kind of stories to get out - especially if a porn site did the stealing and you had (have) a family friendly authority site.
1:56 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I also met D Wilcox at a Pubcon and was very impressed - she's great and knows this stuff very, very well. I'm guessing she can resolve it with a few calls and letters.

Call a legal expert in this NOW. I would NOT use a local attorney - they'll have no idea what the rules are in this case since it's not all that well defined anywhere.

Contact the hijackers immediately and first ask nicely for them to return control to you IMMEDIATELY. If this doesn't work then quietly explain you'll be suing their asses off for theft, lost business. Note the fact that if you get tagged as porn your domain is toast even if you get it back and they will be held responsible for a huge loss of future income from this theft.

Sounds to me like they hacked your password and then did the transfer. Also possible is registrar error if it was NOT locked and they failed to notify you or mail was lost.

If it was LOCKED you should be able to get the registrar to undo this immediately.

2:17 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Folks, I'd like to that you all once again for proving that we can cover the issues and offer advice without having to "name names" (of registrars).

Thank you ALL, very much, for making things work as well as they do and thank you all for your continuing contributions.

Webwork / Forum Moderator (a/k/a Jeff - Make sure I buy you all a beer at the blackjack tables in Vegas.)

Oh, really, the beer is free at the tables? :)

2:43 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Steps taken:

(1) Contacted my registrar. First time, I got no help. They said i transferred it, too bad.

(2) Contacted their registrar. They at least provided me with the phoney (hacked) whois records that were used to make the transfer. But again they said contact my original registrar.

(3) Talked to my registrar again and this time talked to somebody more helpful who promised action.

(4) But not willing to trust them, I also went to the lawyers and got everything layed out with them. Unfortunately, it was three o'clock so I'll have to wait until tomorrow before letters go out.

I don't know why but I feel so embarrassed and angry that my domain was stolen.

My question is: Can the new registrar transfer it back with sufficient proof that it was mine and fraudulently transferred.

Cheers,

And thanks for the replies in this trying time.

5:31 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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get the info you need from ICANN it is most likely they who will make that decision, they have the power to transfer the domain back under the resolution service ..

They have a wealth of info on their site.. I would guess the sooner you begin proceedings with them the quicker you will have the domain back...

6:40 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Lobo,

Thank you.

6:51 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Echoing Lobo's reply,

Anyone in a similar situation would do well to visit the ICANN website. There is so much information that I haven't begun to digest any of it, but looking around, it seems to be the ultimate arbiter of domain names. (I still haven't found out how to start proceedings with them, but I will keep looking . . . any hints?)

I had never been there until Lobo's suggested it.

7:05 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Weird. Now a new website comes up: this domain is for sale. Do you want to buy it? The porn is gone.
7:23 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would take that as a good sign.
8:29 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The domain is up for sale on 'sedo'. Is this a legitimate domain tranferring agency?

It went from porn to 'up for sale' in less than 24 hours. I guess my regular traffic (teachers and their students) didn't convert well in the industry.

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