Recently, there has been an uptick in the Amount of Domains That are being stolen. I am not positive whether it’s because of the globalpandemic and people are becoming more desperate for cash, or in case domain thieves are using the shifting digital and technologyenvironment. COVID-19 is causing more people to be online and conduct business online. But that also means that many don’t fully understand how to properly protect their digital assets, like domain names. This may be why we are seeing more and more online scams, phishing like Google Ads phishing, and online theft in general.
When I think of digital resources, I think of several distinct types. Our digital assets may consist of access to your bank account on line, access to accounts such as cryptocurrency accounts, and payment tradesites like PayPal, Masterbucks, and Venmo. Then there’s online shopping websites’ logins, for example Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay, where most probably you have an account where your payment data is stored. Apple Purchase and Google Pay would be others, in addition to your website hosting account which handles your email (unless you use Gmail.com or Outlook.com), and, finally, your domain name. In case your domain goes lost, then you eliminate a lot: accessibility to email, in addition to your site most likely will return, where you are going to eliminate visibility, online sales, and clients. Online thieves are hacking websites and anywhere there is a login, because they’re attempting to get to your digital resources.
A Lot of Us are now Utilized to safeguarding our online accounts by utilizing a Unique, protected password for every login that we’ve got online. An significant part protecting digital resources, and domain names, would be to make sureyou have a safe password and two-factor authentication setup to your login in your domain registrar. In many cases, if a thief gains access to an account in a domain registrar, the consequences can be disastrous if you don’t have additional protections in place to safeguard your domain name.
Hackers who gain access to a domain registrar’s account may do a few things that would interrupt your business:
The thief or hacker can make changes to the DNS records for your domain name. You would think it’s the copy, however, the copy may contain malicious code.I’ve even seen them direct online sales from a copy of your site to them so they profit monetarily from it via identity theft or diverting funds. They may even keep your samecontact information about the WHOIS record so it seems like you still own itbut the domain may be transferred into their account. If it’s out of 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’vetried to steal the domain name, and as soon as it is moved then it is regarded as stolen. They may keep the exact same name servers so it stillpoints to your site, and therefore you don’t notice that it is stolen.
Digital thieves know that domain names are valuable, because they are Digital assets which may be sold for tens of thousands, thousands, hundreds of thousands, as well as millions of dollars. Unfortunately, domain crimes typically go un-prosecuted. In many cases, the domain thieves aren’t found in the exact same country as the sufferer. They allhave exactly the exact same thing in common: they wish to gain monetarily from slipping the domain name. Following is a few domain crimes that I’ve found lately:
A company’s account in a domain registrar was hacked (using social technology). The company was involved in cryptocurrency, sogaining access to the domain name allowed for the hackers to get the company’s crypto exchange.
The domain thief posed as a domain buyer, telling the domain owner they wanted to buy their domain for a few thousand dollars. The buyer and seller agreed to a price, the thief told them they could pay them through cryptocurrency. The seller moved the domain name when they had been given details of this cryptocurrency trade. When the seller tried to get the cryptocurrency and”cash in”, it was invalid. They had been scammed, and lost the domain name.
A domain name owner who has a portfolio of valuabledomain names gets their account hacked in a domain registrar. The owner does notrealize this, and the domain names are transferred to another registrar in a different country. The gaining registrar is uncooperative (or in about the theft), and will not return the domain names.
A domain name owner has her or his account hacked in the domain registrar and domain names are moved out to a different registrar. Then they sell the domain names to somebody else, and the domainsare moved again to a different registrar. This occurs several times, with different registrars. People who bought the domain names don’t know they are stolen, and they lose any investment they made in the domain names. Sometimes it’s difficult to unravel cases like this, sincethere are numerous owners and registrars involved.
All ofthese occurred in the past two to three weeks. And so are only In the case of the domain sale scam, the vendor must have employed a domain escrow service, there are numerous reputable escrow services, such as Epik.com’s Domain Escrow Services, in addition to Escrow.com that handles domain name sales.
Just just how do you minimize the risk of your domain getting stolen?
Transfer your domain name to a protected registrar.
Log in to your registrar account on a regular basis.
Setup registry (transfer lock) in your domain name.
Assess WHOIS data frequently.
Renew the domain name for several years or”eternally”.
Use other security features at your own Password.
Shield your domain using a domain name warranty.
Consider moving your domain to a protected domain name registrar. You will find registrars that haven’t kept up with common securitypractices, such as allowing you to install 2-Factor Authentication onyour account, Registrar Lock (which halts domain transfers), as well as setting up a PIN number in your account for customer serviceinteractions.
Log in to your domain registrar’s account on a regular basis. I Can’t really say how frequently you need to do this, but you ought to get it done on a normal schedule. Log in, be sure you stillhave the domain name(s) on your account, make sure they are on auto-renew, and nothing looks out of the ordinary. This less-than-5-minute task could literally save your domain from being stolen.
Set up Registrar Lock or”transfer lock” in your domain name. Some It is a setting which makes sure the domain cannot be moved into another account without having it turned off. Some go so far as maintaining it”on” unless they get verbal confirmation which it should be transferred.
Check the WHOIS data on the domain name. Check it openly on a Public WHOIS, such as in ICANN’s WHOIS, WhoQ, or in your registrar. Make sure it’s correct, even the email addresses.
Renew your domain name for several decades. Years for valuable domain names (or ones you don’t want to lose). You can get a “eternally” domain registration in Epik.com.
Ask the registrar in the event the account access can be limited based on Ask the registrar if the account may be restricted from logging in by a USB Device, such as a physical Titan Security Crucial, or a Yubikey. In case you have Google Advanced Protection allowed in your Google Account, you will have two physical keys to get that Google Account (and some advanced security in the Google backend). You would then have those Advanced Protection keys fromGoogle to protect the domain names on Google Domains.
Look at protecting your domain name(s) using a domain name warranty or service which protects these digital resources, such as DNProtect.com.
Some domain name registrars, especially those who take domain Security very seriously, have updated their systems”behind the scenes” so to speak. It is more difficult for the fraudsters and thieves to steal domain names at those registrars. Some domain name registrars don’thave 24/7 technical assistance, they may outsource their customer serviceagents, and their domain name registrarsoftware is obsolete.
Domain Name Thefts Occurring at This Time
As I write this today, I have been advised of at least20 very Valuable domain names which were stolen from their owners in the last 60 days. As an example, of two cases I personally confirmed, the domain names were stolen out of one specific domain registrar, based in the united states. The domain names were moved to another domain registrar in China. Both ofthese firms who own the domain names are, in fact, based on the USA. Thus, it is not logical that they’dtransfer their domain names to some Chinese domain name registrar.
In the case of both domain names, the same domain thief kept The domain name ownership documents undamaged, and they bothshow the priorowners. However, in 1 case, part of this domain contact record was altered, and the prior owner’s speech is current, however, the final partof the speech is recorded as a Province in China, and not Florida, in whichthe firm whose domain name has been stolen is located.
What tipped us off to these stolen domain casesis the factthat both Domains were listed for sale on a popular domain name marketplace. However, these are domain names where the overall consensus of this value could be over $100,000 each, and were recorded for 1/10th of their value. Bear in mind the 1 year old $150,000 Porsche listed for sale on Craigslist for $15,000? It is too good to be true, and most likely it’sstolen. The same goes for these domain names which are supposedly stolen. The price gives them away, also, in this scenario, the possession records (that the WHOIS documents) also show evidence of this theft.
It’s not been more important to take responsibility for your Digital resources, and ensure they are using a domain registrar That has evolved and adapted with the times. A Couple of moments spent Wisely, securing your digital resources, is critical in times like these. It may be the difference between your valuable digital assets and web Properties being guarded, or potentially exposed to theft and risk.