Web800.com : One of the earliest cases of ICANN-reported domain theft

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Many .com domains get stolen.

Many .com domains get stolen.

Domain theft is a crime.

Stealing domains amounts to removing a valuable asset that belongs to someone else, and it’s no different than stealing a car, for example.

For many years, domain names have been stolen, and overseer ICANN does not currently offer the type of domain ownership record, or title, made available to owners of vehicles, or homes.

One of the earliest cases of reported domain theft, is a 1999 message to ICANN for the domain Web800.com.

At the time, its technical contact, David Nomer, reported the domain hijacking incident to the “Internet Police” – ICANN:

I was told by a customer service rep at Network Solutions that you guys are the ‘Internet Police’. Nothing on your website indicates this, so I am just sending you an e-mail.

This morning I, as technical contact, got notice that someone had stolen a domain that I look after. The domain is WEB800.COM.  Someone masquerading as Sandra Nomer, the President of Fortune 800 (the Administrative Contact for the domain), submitted a domain change form to Network Solutions, and I was notified after the fact. I had quite a bit of difficulty contacting Network Solutions by phone, but finally did, and meanwhile the change went through. I was told that in a case like this, my returning the notify e-mail with a ‘NO’ would cause no action. Why do a ‘notify-after’ if it has no effect?

More importantly, I would like to see someone go after this guy. Someone with NIC handle SSB114, and apparent company Shadow Station is involved, perhaps the primary culprit. The name given of Staion Shadow is almost certainly phony. I can provide more details. We are getting it reverted with Network Solutions, but this should not have been so easy, and I would like to see some sort of policing for this kind of crime.

If you are not the ‘cops’ for this case, please let me know who is.

Thank you,

dn

The domain eventually dropped and was re-registered, and there is no indication whether it was returned to its owners back in 1999.

At the time, domain names were being stolen from Network Solutions by exploiting a weakness in the authorization system, that used predictable email templates to communicate with the registrar.

To this day, retrieving domain names that were stolen requires the services of a qualified attorney, and quite often the filing of a federal lawsuit when the gaining registrar does not comply with the losing registrar’s requests to return the stolen domain.

If your domain has been stolen, we can help direct you to the proper channels, and to publicly tag your property as stolen. This prevents cybercriminals from reselling the domain, while you’re focusing on the retrieval process.


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