What Is Domain Hijacking And How To Protect Yourself

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What types of domain hijacking are there?

Attackers very often try to change the entries of the domain using hacked registrar access data and thus take over, but there are also other variants of domain hijacking.
In domain name hijacking, attackers try to take legal action to take over a domain more or less legally.

This variant is often referred to as domain grabbing. Domain name system hijacking occurs when DNS requests from third parties are redirected and return incorrect answers. If a server is poorly protected, it can be taken over by a third party via network hijacking, which can also include the domain. Typewriting hijacking is an attempt to lure users to third-party websites using a variant of the original domain name.

How to recognize domain hijacking?

Anyone who can no longer log into the control center of their domain, even though all the data is correct, is very likely to have become the target of a domain hijacking attack. Even if your own domain forwards to a third-party website, such an attack is likely. Domain owners should also prick up their ears if the traffic data suddenly deviate from the usual numbers.

These measures help against domain hijacking

Prevention is the key to preventing a domain from being hijacked. To ensure that the domain remains secure, a domain provider should be selected before registering that is listed as an ICANN accredited registrar. After registering, a password for the control center must be chosen.

Users must make sure that they have a strong and unique password. The same applies to the email account that is connected to this domain account. It is precisely because communication with the domain provider takes place via e-mail and protection of the e-mail account is so important.

Here, unauthorized persons have the opportunity not only to access domain data but also access data to other accounts. For the e-mail account, this means using two-factor authentication if possible and setting login alarms. No login attempt goes unnoticed, which enables quick reactions.

Quite a few attackers try to get hold of a domain using the real personal details of the registrar. With a private WHOIS setting, this becomes impossible in the first place. Some providers offer this service, which is unfortunately not available for .de domains. The real WHOIS data is replaced by data from the domain provider. This gives attackers no chance to research the real data of the domain administrator.

How to get a hijacked domain back

If you run a webshop, you can see your company endangered by the attackers redirecting the traffic in one fell swoop. If your own domain is in the wrong hands, the registrar should be involved immediately. A conversation with the support of the domain provider in which the situation is explained must take place as soon as possible. Here, with the necessary documents, it may be possible to prove that you are the legal owner of the domain.

However, if the attackers have already transferred the hijacked domain to another registrar, the original domain provider can no longer help. In this case, going to a lawyer is essential.

An additional possibility with which the whereabouts of the domain can be clarified is to request documentation directly from ICANN. ICANN creates a separate history for each domain and has additional identifiers and other ways to bring a hijacked domain back to its rightful owner.

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