Did Name.com bow to Chinese cyber-extortionists?

China is America's enemy #1 in the cybercrime arena.

The domain registrar, Name.com, is well known as an industry workplace with positive corporate culture. The employees don’t just have casual Fridays, they have beer on that day.

It seems that a domain that was registered with Name.com sustained a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) on Thursday.

The domain name Boxun.com is an online resource of news and information, including reports on the Chinese government oppression of free speech.

Name.com sustained a relentless digital attack, followed by anonymous emails to take Boxun.com offline. At that point, Name.com asked the owner of Boxun.com to transfer the domain to another registrar!

This is the first recorded incident of a domain industry company bowing to extortion. The US-based Boxun.com owner transferred the domain to 1&1 Internet and hired a new web host in the process.

The news about Name.com waving the white flag of surrender to apparent Chinese cyber-extortionists did not spread to the domain circles, primarily because the Name.com blog feed isn’t syndicated with Domaining.com



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15 Responses to “Did Name.com bow to Chinese cyber-extortionists?”
  1. Gnanes says:

    They took the easy way out. I wonder if they told the other register about the why the domain was transferred to them.

  2. Brad Mugford says:

    I just read that article and have lost a lot of respect for Name.com.

    In summary they received a threat to disable a domain or they would suffer as DDoS attack, which later happened…

    Then they forced the domain’s owner to transfer the domain and dump the problem on another registrar.



  3. Son says:

    Wait… I thought that I saw they moved from Name to Enom registrar yesterday. Is that mean they moved once again?

  4. Name.com observer says:

    Name.com has already demonstrated their unethical tactics with expired names on the SnapNames platform. Their unwillingness to stand up for their customer here doesn’t surprise me in the least bit.

  5. Lucius "Gunz" Fabrice says:

    Son – You are correct. On 4/19 the domain was with Name.com, on 4/20 it was at eNom and now it’s at 1&1. Such sequential registrar transfers are highly rare but can occur; apparently, someone pulled some strings.

  6. Son says:


    Oh I see. Normally, I only heard DDOS attack affects at the server level, but this time it’s on the registrar level. Really bad situation.

  7. Poor Uncle says:

    My one and only experience with name.com was when I went and registered my very first domain name on the drop with name.com after reading Kevin Ham’s …only to find out that they had cancel my order without letting me know because the previous owner installed malware on the website.

    When I called to asked why my domain name is no longer on a parked page…it must had been on a friday…the employee told me they cancelled my order. I asked why they didn’t notify me. The employee said google reported that the domain name use to be on a website with Malware…so they cancel my order thinking that I was the bad guy. I told them I just bought the name five days ago. He offer to let me register the name again..and I said…No Thanks..and please close my account. Thank you.

  8. W says:

    if this is true! – i will be transferring all my domain names away from name.chicken

  9. Worldne.ws says:

    You are crazy to expect ethics in business

  10. Lucius "Gunz" Fabrice says:

    Bottom line: Name.com agreed to the extortioner’s demands.

  11. Name.com observer says:

    @Son – I don’t think the registrar matters in a DDoS attack. It’s only the DNS and WebServer of the domain that can come under attack.

  12. Dave Zan says:

    I’m a tad late for commenting here, but I wrote about it on my blog as well. It’s indeed a shame Name.com had to do this, but note that circumstances virtually forced them to.

    Note right now that Boxun.com’s web site is offline, and so far 1&1 hasn’t reported any DDoS attack. It’s safe to say that the perpetrators have no reason to continue as long as the domain’s web site is down, though it remains to be seen if they still want the domain registration itself.

    Between 1&1 and Name.com, though, 1&1 is obviously bigger and can probably afford more to ward off attacks like this than Name.com. I guess time will tell how it goes.

    BTW, Name.com has since blogged an update on the situation. Not that it would change some people’s minds, but at least they’re being more forthright than maybe some registrars can ever hope to be.

  13. Dave Zan says:

    Ooops, I see that Boxun.com is up now. A moment ago it wasn’t showing anything for me, but I guess my ISP finally updated their DNS cache or something.

  14. John says:

    What else do you expect Name.com to do? It’s easy to point fingers when you are not the actual victim. Name.com has the right to protect the interests of their other clients. I am not affiliated with Name.com or works for them. We have been a client of theirs for many years and they always have been more than kind to us. Mr. Scott McBrean always went above and beyond the call of duty to take care of us. He’s one of the nicest and helpful people I have ever known. No other registrars even come close.

    Let’s dig into the subject of hosting. I had my site hosted with BlueHost.com. One day they turned off my account and told me I have 14 days to move the data. It turned out as a DDOS attacks. BlueHost didn’t even give a reason or notice, they just turned off my site. Their support told me that I can’t host with them any more because of the DDOS. Then I tried my luck with GoDaddy. All is well until about 4 months later, same thing happened. GoDaddy told me the exact same thing. I can’t host with them any more. They disabled my site without any notice. Their tech told me to read their TOS policy. Needless to say, I didn’t want to bother. Mind you, my site was parked. It has no special contents. I just don’t understand it get DDOS.

    I moved my site to Name.com, not too long afterward, the same thing happened. Mr. Scott McBrean actually called us and advised there was an influx of traffics from China that hit a subdomain. He worked around the problem by pointing that sub domain to a null value. Problem solved!

    BlueHost=Failed. GoDaddy=Failed. Name.com A+. Those two other hosts didn’t bother to tell me that was the issue. Those idiots just turned off my site because they were too freaking busy to trouble shoot the problem and narrow it down.

    If the same thing that happened to you as a hosting provider, what would you do? Let say you have tons of customers that rely on you. Would you do any differently than what Name.com has done? Let’s be honest here. What would you do to protect your customers? It’s easy to point fingers when your livelihood is not at stake? I bet that you are more likely to do whatever it take to protect the rest of your clients, but not the site that is having problem. Tell me there’s a hero in town that will stand up to these attacks on their own dime and I will believe you. Go ahead and move your sites elsewhere away from Name.com, you are not going to get protected either way by the major hosting providers. If you call Name.com chicken, then the rest are no different.

    Once again, I am not affiliated with Name.com. What’s fair is fair. There’s always two sides to every coin. I urge you to carefully consider before jumping to conclusion. Bottom line, the folks at Name.com have always been great. They are second to none. For this reason, we have close to 50,000 of our domains with them. You can imagine the research process we have gone through just to make this decision. Thank you for reading. My 2 cents.

  15. Lucius "Gunz" Fabrice says:

    John – You win hands down for the longest comment on DomainGang 😀

    But think for a second, would you like your landlord to tell you, “sorry John, you’re moving out tomorrow”?

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