|leeanneart.com not available 15/10/11|
Last Thursday our internet was cut off by Telstra and we thought that this in itself was bad enough.
Sometime under the cover and distraction of Telstra’s removal of our internet connection our Domain names were hijacked (stolen). Read about domain name hijacking via the links at the end of this post.
leeanneart.com & vakras.com were taken by unknown persons and were no longer in our control or ownership. If we had still had internet access when our domains were hijacked we would have been alerted. Our sites associated with these domains were hosted (stored) on our server which connected our sites to the WWW. When we were cut off by Telstra our sites disappeared from the WWW.
If we had not first been disconnected, then the hijacking of our domains would have made our sites disappear from the WWW instantly. Because of the nature of the hijack we would have been aware of this the moment that it occurred.
Under the cover of our lack of internet it was likely that the perpetrator held the expectation we would fail to notice in time to retrieve them, or felt that we would not have understood what had occurred.
Who knew of our lack of internet? That Telstra had disconnected us? When to strike so that they could steal the domain names? Who might benefit from this?
All interesting questions.
There are protocols and processes to secure domain name ownership. Through impersonation and deception or by the application of technical knowledge (hacking), or because of flawed security procedures these protocols can be breached, as has happened in our case. It is only through timely discovery and persistent, dogged follow-up that we now have both domains back under our ownership.
Fortunately we did discover the theft fairly quickly and alerted every authority we could. Melbourne IT, the domain name registrar, could not do anything over the weekend when we discovered this late Saturday morning15 October 2011.
The type of action Telstra have taken against us, described as "excessive", the timing of Telstra's actions, the consequences which have flowed from Telstra's actions, and the question of who stood to benefit from them, are all in question.
The Victoria Police Fraud Squad are actively investigating.