Cybersquatting & Domain Dispute Attorneys / Lawyers: Protecting Your Domain Name: Control is the Key.

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08/14/2007

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A WSJ Article about domain hijacking.

Web-Address Theft Is Everyday Event
Short or Memorable Domain Names
Can Fetch Millions of Dollars
By KEVIN J. DELANEY
September 25, 2007; Page B3

Like real-world theft, the hijacking of an Internet address can happen quickly and with little warning.

New York computer consultant Ronen Inowlocki knows firsthand. In July, a thief connived to take control of the yyy.com address that Mr. Inowlocki has owned for years. Mr. Inowlocki is still fighting to get it back, and can't access the "@yyy.com" email addresses he had used to communicate with clients. Meanwhile, the thief shifted the Internet address, also known as a domain, to a service in Germany and lists a mailing address in Iceland as his contact info.

Experts say the theft of Internet domain names occurs every day. The thieves -- taking advantage of companies that have either let down their guard or failed to take adequate precautions -- are often after financial gain, since short or memorable domains can be sold for millions of dollars and generate Web traffic and online-advertising revenue. Some domain hijackers are former employees or others looking to extract payments or take revenge.

"It's a complete rampage in our industry," says Monte Cahn, founder and chief executive of Moniker Online Services LLC in Pompano Beach, Fla., which handles domain services such as registrations and auctions.

Bob Parsons, chief executive officer of GoDaddy.com Inc., says the domain registrar is aware of daily hijacking incidents, with the frequency having increased as Internet use grows. But he and other domain experts say businesses can take simple measures to protect domains and notes there are techniques that help in the event they are hijacked.

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