Domain Hijacking: All You Need to Know
A domain name is not just a title; it is a business/company's digital identity. Your domain name is what people will type in their browser's URL space to look for you online and conduct certain (trans)actions on your website.
Imagine a scenario where you sit at your desk to monitor the activities on your website, and you notice that the contents have changed, or you can't even access the page anymore. Imagine the feeling of terror, frustration, and panic that follow? Yep. That is called Domain Hijacking.
Domain Hijacking means that someone else has taken control of your internet domain. This puts the hijacker in full charge of all domain-based functionalities that include transferring domain names, modifying domain status or content, and changing DNS name servers. Simply put, your domain name has been unlawfully taken away from you.
How Does Domain Hijacking Happen?
To get access to your domain name, hackers can:
- Push a phishing page to you, on which you may unknowingly enter your login credentials, thereby giving away your details.
- Cause a data breach to your domain registrar, thus exposing your login details.
- Make a false call as your domain registrar, requesting for your login details for verification.
- Discretely install keyloggers on your computer, which will record all the keys pressed on your computer and send out this information to a root source.
What Is The Implication Of A Hijacked Domain?
A hijacked domain is very bad for your business. You can imagine the horrors yourself. But the technicality may be more complicated than your imaginations. Obviously,
- Your business is compromised, which means you are unable to make sales or provide relevant information to your customers and visitors.
- You will lose most of your customers in a few days because they will go over to your competitors.
- If a ransom is requested to restore your domain, then you will be bearing a financial loss.
- While your domain is down, your credibility can be questioned by your customers, making them think that your platform is not safe for them to operate on.
- Your data can be encrypted, making you lose all vital information.
- A breach into your data can leak your private information and your customers’ details, which can defraud everyone.
- Other platforms and operations that are linked to your central domain may also be subjected to attacks.
Well, enough of the sad news!
What To Do To Prevent Domain Hijacking
- Enable 2-factor authentication
- Don't share your domain details
- Purchase domains in your name and not your employee/ vendor’s name
- Use stronger passwords
- Don't use one password for all of your systems
- Choose a good domain registrar company with credible track records
- Enable domain locking
- Enable domain privacy protection
Protecting Your Domain Name with WHOISOLOGY
More efficiently, you can use WHOIS records from Whoisology to prevent such attacks by configuring your system to report obligation notifications and to trigger actions for designated personnel to review, confirm, and/or update registration information. The notification check would call for actions tha verify antd validate changes. By routinely monitoring registration information and whatever changes, you can get ahead to know when to take the right precautionary and protective action.
Periodic WHOIS data checks, including (but not limited to) the following will help you to implement the next protective actions before things got worse.
- Inaccuracies and omissions in logged data, such as a match in the data when a piece of information was last modified and when you actually did so, should be checked.
- Changes in the registrant name, different from your name, should immediately raise a red flag.
- Any alterations made in the contact details including the phone number, email address, physical address.
- Names in servers listed in the registration records should be confirmed.
- A change in the registrar, which is different from your original vendor indicates a threat that should be checked.
- Checking your server & client status code periodically for changes can help identify impending threats.
What’s more, with just a single domain name search in Whoisology, you can easily access all the historical WHOIS records of the domain name and know whenever any updates were made. In addition, our advanced online tool lets you click on any data point in the result to discover its domain connections. This can be incredibly helpful if, say, the hacker has changed the registrant name or email address in the registration details in the current record. Simply by clicking on that specific information (name or email address in this case) you can easily find other domain names connected to it. This is especially useful as you can quickly alert your registrar and claim the ownership back or in the worst case scenario use the record as a piece of evidence in case a legal action is required.
What To Do If Your Domain Gets Hijacked
When transferred, it takes about 60 days to complete a change in the ownership of a domain. So, within this period, you can:
- Report to your domain registrar as soon as you realize that your domain has been hijacked, informing them that you didn't initiate the transfer.
- Submit your complaint to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) about the hijack. This process may require submitting documents to show that you are the rightful owner of the domain.
It is better to implement the prevention methods so that things don't get to the point of having your Domain Hijacked. Regular checks of your domain name or even registrant name (if you have a portfolio of domain names) in Whoisology helps in confirming the safety of your valuable domain and thereby your business! But we can't always prevent undesirable situations, can we? By timely reporting your stolen domain, as soon as you find out when it happened or who is behind it, you can try and minimize the damage, at the very least.
Whoisology is also widely used by cyber security professionals and law enforcement agencies when investigating or finding evidence in Domain Hijacking cases. Our ease to use interface not only makes the research process way quicker, but also automates and eliminates a lot of manual work required to draw various connections between data points. Also, with billions of WHOIS records collected over a decade, our users can be assured to get all the domain Intel in one place.
Give it a free run now to secure your online identity and prevent domain hijacking with Whoisology!