Domain Industry News

GoDaddy Employee “Fell Victim to a Spear-fishing or Social Engineering Attack”

Earlier today, I published an article about a reported “security incident” involving Escrow.com. In the statement outlining what happened, Escrow.com wrote, “hackers got access to our domain registry account for the Escrow.com domain through a breach of our domain registrar’s systems.” I emphasized the last part of the statement because it seems to lay the blame on the company’s domain registrar rather than the fault of an Escrow.com employee or agent.

A Whois search reveals that the Escrow.com domain name is registered at GoDaddy. I reached out to GoDaddy representatives to see if they could shed some light on this incident. A company representative sent me an email this evening, and it would appear that the issue impacted a handful of customers (who have all been notified). Here’s what I was told by GoDaddy:

Escrow.com Statement on “Security Incident”

Yesterday evening, I received a text message from a colleague asking me if I had seen the Escrow.com website. I had opened a transaction a few hours earlier, and I did no I then did a hard refresh, and I saw that the homepage had been seemingly taken down and there was a message in plain text across the top of the website. I reached out to Escrow.com and was told they were working to resolve the issue, and that it did not involve any unauthorized access to internal data.

I visited Escrow.com this morning, and it appears that the website is up and running. I followed up with a couple of emails this morning asking for more details about what happened and if any internal data or account information was compromised. Jackson Elsegood, General Manager of Escrow.com, just replied to me with a link to a statement about the issue from Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie (Freelancer.com owns Escrow.com):

How Donuts is Working to Prevent Malicious Domain Registrations

One way I learn about domain industry news is through a variety of Google Alerts I have set for various topics and keywords related to domain names. For the past few weeks, a great deal of the Google Alert emails I have received have highlighted articles about domain names that have been registered and used to scam people. This has always been an issue, but it seems to be more prevalent with the current coronavirus pandemic.

Donuts published a blog post discussing a report about malicious .com domain name registrations. The report discussed the steps Verisign made to help mitigate these domain registrations.

In its blog post, Donuts discussed the steps it has been taking to prevent malicious domain registrations in its extensions:

Network Solutions on COVID-19 “We are ready”

Communicating with customers in uncertain times is reassuring and appreciated. Earlier today, I read an Afilias blog post drafted to reassure partners and clients of the company’s “business continuity protocols” that have been enacted to keep the company running during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Afilias is more of a business to business company, and I think that blog post was timely.

This afternoon, I received an email blast signed by Network Solutions CEO Sharon Rowlands. The email let customers know how Network Solutions is prepared to manage customer accounts and maintain services during the outbreak. I do not have many domain names registered at Network Solutions, but I think it was a wise idea to send an email like this to customers. I hope other companies do the same to reassure customers and offer guidance to those in need of assistance.

Here’s the email sent to me today:

Ethos to Make Legally Binding .Org Commitments

Ethos Capital published a press release today with several announcements regarding the .Org registry and the commitments that company will make should its acquisition of PIR go through. In addition, the company announced that it agreed to extend ICANN’s review period to March 20th.

In response to feedback Ethos received from many different interest groups, I was told by an Ethos PR representative that Ethos will be “embedding its commitments on pricing, censorship and data use policies in a legally-binding contract between PIR and ICANN (called a “PIC”), which gives ICANN and the community the ability to enforce those commitments.”

Q4 2019 LXDO Liquid Domain Report

Giuseppe Graziano of GGRG brokerage published the LXDO quarterly report covering the short (liquid) domain name market in the last quarter. According to the LXDO website, “The objective of the report is to present key statistics and generate a debate amongst the industry stakeholders about the fair value of such domains.” The LXDO report is created with the help of Escrow.com and Intelium.

The report covers 614,928 .com domain names, including 2 – 4 letter .com domain names, 2-5 number .com domain names, and 2-3 character (letter + number combos) .com domain names.

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