Domain Theft Hits Startup & Forces Them Into a Name Change

CNet.com is reporting that a startup by the name of Lissn.com has been forced to change its name after its domain name was stolen last week.

Lissn.com was the domain name the startup was using but after the domain theft it has switched to Lissn.in

In a blog post written by the company’s founder, Myke Armstrog he gives out some valuable tips for all domain holders on how to try to avoid a domain from being stolen:

Last friday, through a compromised email address, someone hijacked and stole the Lissn.com domain.

After gaining access, they were able to transfer the domain to their own overseas registrar.

The hackers redirected Lissn to a server in the Netherlands, kept our homepage, and replaced the login button with a message that read “Lissn is currently down for maintenance, sorry for any inconvenience,” further confusing visitors coming to try the latest features.”

Websites are hacked and domains are hijacked every day.  It’s not a rare phenomenon, and like stealing a horse in the Old West, the crime often goes unpunished.  It’s too difficult and too time consuming to find and punish someone in this new, digital world inhabited by billions of people.  Despite its common nature, it took nearly 20 years since the birth of the commercial Internet for the first person to be convicted for stealing a domain name — just a mere 6 months ago.  A digital Wild West, indeed.

We have contacted the authorities and proper parties to get the domain back, but the legal process of reclaiming a domain name can take months and thousands of dollars.  Too much time and too much money for a learn startup where momentum is key.

In the spirit of lean startups and quick moves, we have simply moved Lissn to Lissn.in.  Lissn.in is where you can go to lissn in on live, public conversations. Lissn in on interesting people around the world.  Lissn in on conversations that interest you.  Lissn in!  It doesn’t have a bad ring to it, huh?  Perhaps a little forced rebranding isn’t so bad, albeit unorthodoxly.

Checkmate!

So, what can you learn from us?  If you own a domain, you can follow these steps to protect yourself:

Change your passwords frequently, especially your email address.

Never use the same password for anything.

Don’t use gmail or any free email provider for your domain admin contact.

If you are using gmail, turn on alerts for unusual activity.

Use a domain registrar with good security.

Some of the top registrars for security used by domain investors are Moniker, Fabulous, and Name.com.

So its not just domainers that have issues with domain theft and the biggest problem with the whole issue is that most of the bad doers are overseas in countries with no extradition to the US and therefore operate without any real threat of jail.

For the record the domain name Lissn.com is now registered under privacy with Web4All.ru (Russia) as the registrar.

Comments

  1. says

    @Jamie – we are investigating this right now. Typically it will take 48 hours for a stolen domain to make it into our database after the theft is reported.

    We are also reaching-out directly to the company and will be working to help recover this domain name.

  2. says

    Update!

    Just connected-up with Myke and we have verified this theft. It is now listed as stolen in our database. We are starting the process of working with the registrar and law enforcement on recovering this domain and catching the thief.

    Stay-tuned! :)

  3. says

    That is so sad. I hate to hear about the many digital thefts and the stealing of a website can destroy ones business. I suppose they can demand money as a sort of cyber kidnapping. I know there are the resouces and ability to track down who does this – but law enforcement does not seem to care about the little guys. Yes I hope ICAAN gets to work to recover this name for the company.

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