Several months ago, Stevan Lieberman, an intellectual property attorney in Washington DC, published an article about domain name theft. In the article, Stevan offered some practical advice about how to recover a domain name following a theft. The article was (and is) timely given the amount of stolen domain names I have heard about of late.
This morning, someone commented on Stevan’s article to discuss a domain name that was allegedly stolen from his GoDaddy account. Here is what the commenter had to say:
“My domain cjml.com was just stolen. I have had it registered with godaddy since March of 2000. I received emails from godaddy on Thurs 11/19 for change of account/change of registrant. Emails said if I did not do this or it was in error to contact them within 15 days at undo@godaddy. I sent an email that day saying it was in error and I did not authorize any change. I called them and they said someone had accessed my account and made changes. Then sent me a dispute transfer link. Later @undo sent an email to submit a form to changeupdate.com which I did, the form requires information and scanning a copy of id/drivers license. I thought great, that will prove it’s mine. Also up till then the whois still showed me as registrant and contact. Then on Sat 11/21 another email from godaddy saying contact information for cjml.com. I checked my account and the domain wasn’t there, then checked whois and found someone else’s name listed. Again called godaddy and was told, yes looks like they have successfully stolen your domain, and there’s nothing they could do about it, I’d have to find a lawyer and try to take legal action to try to get the domain back. Thanks for nothing godaddy.
I don’t know how this happened, nothing else seems to be hacked, my emails or 2 other domains. I don’t click on links in emails. I have changed all passwords. What else can I do to get it back? What can Verisign do? Or ICAAN?”
Stolen domain names continues to be a major problem in the domain space. Enabling 2 factor authentication on domain registrar accounts can be an important safeguard in preventing domain theft. In addition, enabling 2FA on associated email accounts is also important. Finally, do not click on links within emails that are purportedly from ICANN or a domain registrar, as this may be a phishing attempt used to steal login credentials.
Hopefully this commenter is able to work with GoDaddy or an attorney like Steven to regain control of the domain name.