(PRWEB) January 26, 2005 — A new wave of internet domain name theft has been sweeping the world wide web. Recently, prominent internet service provider panix.com had their domain stolen, their website was down for several days and tens of thousands of panix.com customers did not receive their email. Website domain names aem.com, f3.com and xybererotica.com were reportedly stolen as well.
“The most famous case in which someone was able to steal a domain name was sex.com.” said internet domain name security expert and www.Moniker.com CEO Monte Cahn, “This domain was held for over three years, the original owner was able to get the name back after many courtroom battles but he lost several million dollars revenue when his domain name was stolen.”
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers who oversees domain name registration and regulation, recently updated their policy surrounding domain transfers between two domain registrars. The new policy requires the registrar who will be taking over control of an Internet domain to receive approval for the transfer from an administrator at the registrar transferring the domain out. ICANN also requires an e-mail to be sent to both registrars involved in the transfer and allows five days for the transferring registrar to cancel the transfer. A loophole in this new system allowed for the domain name theft, ICANN is looking into improving their procedures.
There are a number of precautions web masters can take to prevent someone from getting the opportunity to steal a domain name from you:
1. Make sure that your domains are always locked at your registrar. This lock should show up when looking up your domain in WhoIS or at the registry.
2. Make sure that you protect your admin email and only allow access to those you trust.
3. Make sure that your account information is correct and accurate in your account at all times including using a valid email
4. Always protect your email from hijacking. The best way is to secure a personal domain to use as your email – (e.g. e-mail protected from spam bots), using publicly available email such as AOL, Mindspring, Hotmail, etc. are more susceptible to hijacking and theft than a domain that you own and use as your email address.
5. Cover your domains in all available top level extensions such as .biz, .info, .org, and .net. This will make it less likely for others to divert traffic from your domains or offer confusingly similar products, services, or information. Also cover your domain name spelling variations as well as misspellings of your domains.
6. Safeguard your passwords and change your passwords on a regular basis.
7. Protect your domain name and brand identity by registering a trademark. Go to www.uspto.gov for more information on how to check and register trademarks and copyrights around you content and ideas.
8. Renew and register your domain names for multiple years. ICANN Accredited Registrars such as www.Moniker.com offer 10 year registration and renewals for domain names. This reduces the chance of losing your domain as a result of expiration.
“One of the biggest security risks is sloppy procedure at a registrar that allows unverified transfers” explained Larry Seltzer, Security Center Editor for eWeek.com, “Registrars should, by default, lock all domains, and it’s just a good security practice to make it more difficult for an attacker to steal a domain name or a rogue registrar to slam it. The new ICANN regulations are set up to make transfers go smoothly, so it’s up to the registrars to make sure that domain name hijackings don’t happen.”
Experts also advise you to ensure your registrar undergoes rigorous security procedures. “At Moniker.com we take several steps to ensure no one can steal a domain name. Said Eric Harrington, President. “These include:
” We lock domains at the registrar and at the Registry
” We set all accounts to “HIGH SECURITY” which requires email verification for most critical changes such as DNS, Registrant Changes, and Transfers.
” Moniker is one of a few registrars that have an opt in domain theft guard policy which denies these requests unless specifically authorized by the registrant.
” Moniker.com is the only registrar that has executive review of every transfer out request by at least 3 employees including an officer of the company in an effort to verify the validity of such requests.
” Personal contact is made to each registrant if there are any questions about the legitimacy of the request.”
Moniker.com is one of the top three fastest growing ICANN-accredited Internet domain registrars, and is the global leader for domain name sales, domain name registration and domain appraisals. Together with its affiliated companies, steal a domain name from the registrar.
Moniker CEO Monte Cahn is the host of the new free internet radio show “Domain Masters’ each Wednesday at 7:00 PM EST on free internet radio station www.WebmasterRadio.fm