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


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.

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