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Party like it’s 2007 : Fischer, Goldberger and the Moniker domain auction

ZFBot
domains-2007

Domaining in 2007.

NBC News covered a domain auction organized by Moniker in 2007, presenting “dramatic” coverage of live activity by bidders Ari Goldberger and Larry Fischer.

The blast from the past article describes the action and aspirations of domain investors 8 years ago:

Someone else makes a bid for $120,000. Fischer and Goldberger up the ante, and then again. Going once, going twice … sold to Fischer and Goldberger for $150,000. “You got it,” a smiling Fischer tells Eli. Mazel tovs are exchanged.

Jerry Nolte, managing partner of Domainer’s Magazine, stated:

“This industry is like the wild, wild West right now and people have no idea how fast it’s growing.”

Meanwhile, Monte Cahn, founder and at the time CEO of Moniker.com, explained the relationship of domain names to real estate:

“It’s not about words, it’s like real estate. This industry is only about a decade old. People looked at domain names as a commodity. It’s a piece of real estate on the Web that can’t be replaced. It’s your stake in the ground, your stake in the Internet.”

Surprisingly, Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy chimed in about it all, naturally approving of the domain business – both its PPC and its domain reselling sides:

“They make their money in two ways. One way is through the traffic they get and the other is the appreciation of the name. Domain names are becoming 21st-century real estate. Just owning a domain name as an investment. I don’t see a problem with that.”

For the full article, titled “Domain name sales are red-hot-dot-comclick here.

If you want to read another ‘blast from the past’ domain article, don’t miss “Masters of their Domains.”

 

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Domainer quandary : ‘Leaving Moniker, but where do I go ?’

ZFBot

Even seasoned domainers are not sure which domain registrars to use, when their long-term registrar no longer performs to their expectations.

Moniker’s decline as a domain registrar of choice for domain investors accelerated after a series of security glitches led to a mass hacking of domains last year.

moniker-com

In a discussion thread at DNForum, user Keyboard Cowboy shared his quandary over which registrar should he use for his domain portfolio:

“With Moniker having turned to shit, where have people moved to? I’ve heard good things about gandi.net, but wanted to get some input here. Basically after low’ish prices, top security and the level of support Moniker was once known for.”

The discussion attracted suggestions such as eNom, GoDaddy, Name, DomainMonster, NameSilo, Dynadot, Uniregistry, Fabulous, Domain.com and NameBright.

In the end, most suggestions seem to recommend Uniregistry, due to its management system and free Privacy WHOIS.

For the DNForum discussion on where to move your domain names to, click here.

Copyright © 2019 DomainGang.com · All Rights Reserved.

Domaining 2014: Moniker and the end of the insecure domain registrar

ZFBot
network-security

Egyptian hackers infiltrated Moniker in 2014.

As 2014 fades away, we’re discussing events that occurred this year in the domain industry.

With domain theft being a hot topic thanks to the email verification requirements mandated by ICANN, the importance of secure domain registrars is paramount.

The trajectory of Moniker, once regarded as the bastion of domain safety, has been shocking and disappointing.

The redesign of its portal led to some operational glitches that were deemed to be annoyances at first, as seasoned domainers complained about laggard customer support.

These glitches appeared to have opened or expanded some serious security holes, and in September Moniker faced a massive, successful attack of its accounts, resulting in the loss of numerous domains to a team of Egyptian hackers.

Moniker’s response was below lukewarm, first by downplaying the incident as an attempt to infiltrate the registrar, and then by failing to acknowledge the magnitude of the attack.

Even prominent domain investors such as Future Media Architects had a hard time reclaiming their stolen domains, that were moved to other registrars; Moniker silently worked on such cases, losing the PR front in the process.

The end result: thousands of domain names were moved elsewhere in the course of 2014, and Moniker will have to work considerably harder to improve on its faded glory into the new year, and beyond.

Read more about what else happened in the domain industry in 2014.

Copyright © 2019 DomainGang.com · All Rights Reserved.

NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Moniker wins the prestigious ‘Registrar of the Year’ award

Posted by on December 16, 2014, at 10:22 am 

ZFBot

The Web Hosting and Domains Weekly announced its industry awards a little earlier this year; for the past decade, the awards are meant to congratulate distinguished industry leaders.

Despite recent problems related to security and lack of customer service, the Registrar of the Year award went to an unlikely finalist, Moniker.

“The Registrar of the Year award is reserved for those domain registrars eager to support their customer base, who strive to fix problems and deliver excellent service overall,” said the Web Hosting and Domains Weekly award coordinator, Paula Bdull.

“Moniker is truly trying, very hard so, the executives don’t eat lunch but spend time answering support calls, and on the weekends there is 48 hours of continuous support that isn’t outsourced to India,” added Paula Bdull, smiling.

By winning the Registrant of the Year award, Moniker will hopefully manage to escape the vicious cycle of problems it has found itself in, since it was sold off by Oversee.

 

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Domainer angry: ‘I want to sue Moniker!’ after negative balance is issued

Posted by on December 6, 2014, at 10:09 am 

ZFBot
When will the Moniker madness end?

When will the Moniker madness end?

Moniker can’t seem to get a break from negative light these days; not out of spite, but simply because of bad customer service.

As if the backlash from a mass breach and loss of domains to Egyptian domain thieves were not enough, here come the bills.

Some domainers with domains at Moniker have started receiving bills that claim there has been an accounting error; the bills start from $50 and in the case of one domainer, are as high as $385 dollars.

“I want to sue Moniker!” exclaimed the user at DNForum, adding:

“I just received an email from Moniker stating that they made an error in billing and as a result I own them $385?  WTF, I paid them every single time I renew the names so how can this be an error. They need to show or prove to me and not just send an email telling I own them money without any proof.”

With customer service often impossible to get hold of, Moniker is clearly creating its own downfall in the domain industry.

According to another domainer, Moniker lost more than 500,000 domains between May and November 2014.

Where will it all end?

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Domain theft: One more domain stolen at Moniker is returned to rightful owner

Posted by on December 4, 2014, at 10:42 am 

ZFBot
Domain names are getting stolen more often than what you think.

Domain names that were stolen at Moniker are being returned.

In the aftermath of the mass breach of domainer accounts at Moniker, some things are improving.

There have been several occasions that domains were returned, with the assistance of Moniker as the losing registrar.

Sometimes, the effort of the domain owners makes a difference, as in the case of Future Media Architects that temporarily lost and then retrieved a very important portfolio of domain names, utilizing pressure from a large law firm.

For smaller domainers, that task of getting back their stolen domains has not been easy. There are, however, exceptions.

In one such case involving the four letter domain FU**.com (we cannot reveal the full name) their owner reported the theft and never heard back from Moniker. The domain was moved to a domain registrar based in India, and the outlook was grim; a few days ago, the domain “magically” re-appeared in his Moniker account.

Unlike with the case of See.com, the domain FU**.com has been locked down for 60 days, remaining at Moniker for now.

Like others that moved their domains away from Moniker once they were reclaimed, it is not clear whether the domain owner would entrust Moniker with their asset; for now, he is definitely grateful that the domain is back in his possession.

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Moniker woes continue: Registrant claims loss of $1 million dollar domain!

Posted by on November 13, 2014, at 9:34 pm 

ZFBot
identity-theft

Security issues at Moniker resulted in several domain thefts.

Moniker continues to receive some very negative publicity from its current and former customers, long after a mass breach of accounts resulted in several domain thefts.

In a post at DNForum, a domain owner based in Italy, condemns Moniker’s handling of the situation and alleges that one of his most valuable domains, worth at least $1 million dollars, has been stolen and transferred to another registrar, without his authorization.

He further alleges that Moniker has been unhelpful with reclaiming the domain.

This testimonial raises concerns about the way domain registrars handle customer issues involving domain theft.

Here is the testimonial, unedited:

Moniker is now the worst registrar on the market, stay away from them, believe me or your portfolio will be at risk … and they’ll never care about your problems or better, they’ll cause new ones if you’ll open a support ticket.

DON’T believe to their emails related to security feature improvements, they’re now among the unsafest registrars.

Many accounts have been hijacked in the latest weeks and dozens of domains have been fraudulently transferred away, in some cases the MaxLock was ON.

Let share our recent experience and, even if we can’t mention the involved domains (still unver investigation), I can assure that all facts have been reported exactly as they happened.

One of our most valuable domains (worth over $1M and I’m serious here, it’s something kept private and never shared in the forums because not for sale) has been fraudulently transferred away to another registrar (that I’ll not mention to avoid any possible unwanted investigation from someone a bit curious), this happened in September but only in the first week of October we’ve been aware of that now, how has it been possible ?

See by yourself why Moniker is no longer reliable now: “someone” hacked our account and consider we were using Whois Proxy on that domain while our password was safely stored in an external flash drive, no way to retrieve it without answering to 2 secret questions.
Our email account hasn’t been hacked nor involved in this story, this means the hacker has used a dif. way to get access to the account.

He didnt change password but he created a default handle (with a similar email) so he changed it in whois for all contacts (and we got no email notification when he did this … Is this normal ? I doubt and I’ve read about other similar cases in Googloe).

For a lucky case we logged in the account few weeks later and saw our most valuable domain was no longer there; under the same account, we had also other 2 premium names that he didn’t steal so we’ve created a new Moniker account (on the moment) and pushed them there to safeguard our remaining assets.
From there, we did a second push to another account (this time towards a second old account that we owned for few years and where we had other domains too).
In this way, we hoped to make the hacker life harder.

Done this, we’ve opened multiple tickets at Moniker (one every 2/4 hours) to make Moniker aware of this incident and we’ve explained what we did to safeguard our other assets apart asking for their cooperation to work together to get back our stolen domain.

02-Oct-2014: For security reasons and with no explanation (so far) they’ve locked our second account (the one where we moved the other mentioned domains) so we’ve submitted multiple tickets to explain again that we’ve moved our domains under it to take them away from the hacker hands.

We got a reply (just once) saying they were investigating, no more news from that moment.

QUICK RECAP:

1. An hacker has fraudulently transferred away from Moniker one of our domains, they refused to help to get it back, they told to contact a court under the new registrar jurisdiction to get the domain back and ok we did and we’re now working with a “very expensive lawyer” to get a subpoena, to proof an hacker has stolen the domain and, maybe, to get it back … who knows when.

2. As a “good gesture”, Moniker has frozen our second account and we’re waiting since over a month to hear back by them to know how getting it back … Basically they’ve stolen our remaining domains. Now our lawyer will work on this case too.

Don’t think to send a copy of your id to get the account back, in such cases: they’ll just ignore you and your docs as they did with us

Again and again: leave them forever, you can no longer trust this company.

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Top tier three letter dot com DNS.com moved away from Moniker

Posted by on November 11, 2014, at 1:29 pm 

ZFBot
dns

DNS.com has now been moved to eNom.

Recently, we covered the change in ownership of the domain name DNS.com, which was used in the past by DNS by Comodo.

The company rebranded to DNSbyComodo.com, letting DNS.com pointed to its servers for a while.

That message was removed recently, and DNS.com was moved to Domain Name Sales, where it is listed “For Lease” currently.

Some feedback indicated that DNS.com was leased to begin with, and there is no track of a recent sale.

DNS.com has now been moved away from its registrar of several years, Moniker, perhaps due to a lot of domains being stolen from the registrar during a recent mass breach.

The new registrar of DNS.com is eNom.

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Moniker requires account verification from fraud-prone countries

Posted by on November 5, 2014, at 10:56 pm 

ZFBot
moniker

More headaches for Moniker account holders.

After a huge security breach that resulted in an unknown number of domains being stolen from their registrants, Moniker has apparently started to require account verification over the phone.

A Moniker account holder from Ukraine, lashed out at the email he received, two weeks after he reset his account passwords with Moniker:

“Thank you for registering your domain with Moniker.For security reasons, we must verify your account before processing your domain requests.The analysis for which accounts need to be verified is not done by our system but by an external service, based on objective criteria.The use of such policies has sadly become necessary due to fraud attempts, especially in the internet business.Until your account is verified you will only be able to make payments via Bank Transfer. We will gladly make an exception for you and open up access to your account once you call our support teams and verify your account.To verify your account it will need to be a live call. This again is a onetime call for fraud prevention.

You can call us at 1-800-688-6311 for the account validation. Outside the U.S. and Canada: 954-607-1294 Our hours of operations are Monday-Friday 8:00 am EST – 8:00 pm est.We look forward to speaking with you.Please have the following information handy to quickly verify your account.

Account #
Email Address on the account
Phone # on the account
Mailing/Billing Address on the account.

Moniker Support”

It is not yet clear if the account verification over the phone is only targeting countries prone to Internet fraud; this is the first such email from Moniker that seeks verification of data over the phone, prior to unlocking access.

The account holder who posted his plight in a members’ only section of DNForum, exclaims that the only domains he has at Moniker are those he acquired at SnapNames, adding that he does not intend to keep them there.

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Moniker hack aftermath: GoDaddy returns stolen domains to their owner

Posted by on October 13, 2014, at 1:24 pm 

ZFBot
Yet another domain stolen from a GoDaddy account.

GoDaddy retrieved several stolen domains.

Several valuable numeric dot .com domains and an LLL .com have been returned to their legitimate owner, at GoDaddy.

Following a report that asked for the non-disclosure of the domains involved, we verified that the theft of domains at GoDaddy has been reversed.

The theft was linked to the recently exposed Moniker breach, from the owner’s account that shared the same email and potentially similar credentials as his Moniker account.

A valuable three letter .com domain that was stolen from the same owner’s Moniker account, was transferred to Register.com and it has not been reclaimed yet.

In general, it is easier for a registrar to reverse such thefts, when the stolen domains remain within the same registrar. When domains are transferred out, however, things become extremely complex.

Moniker has returned the domain Busy.com to Future Media Architects as it had been pushed to another Moniker account; those domains moved away to other registrars are still being challenged.

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Moniker ‘patient zero’ warned registrar on security breach in late August

Posted by on October 10, 2014, at 4:59 pm 

ZFBot

A former Moniker customer’s rage over the recently exploited security breach, is off the charts.

He has reason to believe that his account, presumably containing valuable domains, was the first one to be targeted in late August by hackers originating from Egypt and Lebanon, who created sub-accounts.

Despite warning Moniker about the issue, he was reassured that somehow this was his own fault and the result of a weak password, which he refutes.

Indeed, Moniker used serial incremental account numbers as alternate usernames, making things easier for the hackers to infiltrate accounts; the sequential access explains the large number of accounts accessed in the breach.

Eventually, several domain names were stolen, some from high profile owners such as Elequa of Future Media Architects.

In a lengthy, detailed post at NamePros, the former customer describes what happened:

I tried to warn Moniker. The disrespect they showed my warning is indicative of the type of company they now are. You can see from my original post how adamant I was that my account from my end was 100% secure. They dismissed me. A supervisor never called me to investigate further my claims. These people are IDIOTS and I hope that Moniker falls into the abyss like RegisterFly.

I don’t think this is Shellshock because I was reporting this problem long before that bug was discovered and released. They’re just too stupid to do forensics and fix their bugs. But if I was to tell them that they wouldn’t believe it again either so what’s the point. These people are inept.

For those with suspicious logins. Check to see if any extra user accounts were created. That’s what they did with my account and I suspect that’s the origin of the exploit. For all I know they can use tamper data to alter the input of adding an extra user onto any account simply with a uid change to the input. Tried to point them in the right direction on this.

After I left I told Moniker to delete my account. Glad I did so.

If anyone plans a class-action against Moniker LMK. I’m in. You should see by my own contacts with them that a security breach had occurred and they REFUSED to do anything about it. That’s negligence. It’s cost us all time and money and for me it’s caused personal anguish and suffering. These mother F’n clowns should be put down and suffer just as much as we have. The hatred I now feel for this company is off the charts.

Looks like I got out just in time.

That’s what I told them.That a new account I did not create existed. That account somehow was able to get added and bypass their portfolio maxlock. I warned them explicitely of this but they did ZERO investigation into it. I can prove NEGLIGENCE just on the contacts I sent them.

As for credentials…Moniker used UIDs for their customer account numbers that were incremental. So account number 1000, 1001, 1002 could easily be checked. These are not based on random usernames. They are number uid’s which any hacker can exploit a LOT easier to find login credentials.

88.150.178.59 is a datacenter probably VPN for anonymity. My logins were from Egypt and Lebanon. I could very well have been the first exploited account as I’m often a personal target of these things. Once I left though my guess is that exploit was sold in the blackhat community and use maliciously across multiple accounts.

But again…Moniker was warned. They were told. They were given an opportunity to investigate this and probably stop it. They IGNORED ME and the clear danger to all their customers.

Anyone who lost high profile expensive domains and needs me to testify I’ll be very very very happy to do so. I can go to a lawyer and get an affidavit.

Punish these clowns people. Make an example of them to the Registrar community that security comes first and you don’t ignore ANY possible breach. Yes, I’m mad and angry over this.

Looking over my contacts it appears on August 27 my account was stolen. I log into it weekly to make sure it’s secure. One day my domains were redirected and I knew I had a problem at Moniker. I could still login which was nice. However upon checking I saw DNS changes to my domains and I’m like “WTF, I have portfolio maxlock and only with my 100% secure security questions can they do that”. I call Moniker immediately. I was able to undo the DNS changes but HOW did they do that was the question. IP logs showed the login from Egypt and Lebanon. But then I finally saw the extra user account and I KNEW that was the breach.

I have the contacts still from Moniker. IMHO they are 100% proof of their serious negligence.

Anyone in media wishing to ask me questions please feel free to contact me via PM. Anyone going after Moniker legally should also contact me. I’ll be super happy to help with what I know and my experience. This could have EASILY been prevented if they had simply not ignored my very clear warning about this exploit.

I gotta end this rant. I can go on all day. Sorry for the long read.

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019

Domain thief peddling cache of domains stolen from Moniker accounts

Posted by on October 9, 2014, at 12:30 pm 

ZFBot

A cache of domain names stolen during the recent Moniker breach of customer accounts, is being offered privately to domain investors.

The stolen domains being offered at low prices include the following:

The domain Busy.com was also offered as part of this group of domains, however it has been recovered and returned to its rightful owner, Future Media Architects.

The sender of the email soliciting the sale of the stolen domain names is “domain_id@yahoo.com“. The incident was announced on DNForum.com.

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NamesCon.com - The Domain Industry Event - January 27-30, 2019