The act of altering a domain name’s registration without the original owner’s consent or by abusing privileges on domain hosting and domain registrar systems is known as domain hijacking. The business of the original domain name owner suffers greatly from domain name hijacking, which has a variety of consequences, including:
Financial losses: Businesses that depend on their websites for sales, such as e-commerce and SaaS firms, stand to lose millions of dollars if they lose ownership of one of their most important assets, the domain. One of the biggest cybersecurity concerns facing internet organizations is domain hijacking.
Damage to reputation: Domain hijackers may take over an infected domain’s email accounts and use the name to support other cyberattacks like malware installation or social engineering assaults.
Regulatory damages: By acquiring control of a domain name, hijackers might replace the genuine web page with a copycat one intended to collect sensitive information (PII). This practice is known as phishing. The objective is to any information that might be used in identity theft or to obtain unauthorized access to consumer accounts, including account information, contact information (such as email addresses and phone numbers), social media accounts, personal data, and IP addresses.
Top Domain Hijacking Techniques
- The most effective method is social engineering (phishing). The domain hijacker may impersonate the registrar and phone the domain owner, or he may persuade him to enter the required data on a phony login page.
- Another technique involves the attacker claiming to be the domain owner in order to persuade a domain registrar to transfer domain control to them.
- The hijacker may also use the registrar system’s vulnerability to their advantage.
- Using obsolete software, especially old WordPress installations, is risky since they might be exploited for weak passwords or subject to SQL injection attacks.
- A victim’s PC may be infected with malware by hijackers in order to get passwords.
- Another option for domain hijackers is to wait until the domain is about to expire in the hopes that a human mistake would prevent the renewal in time.
What is the Process of Domain Hijacking?
Typically, domain hijacking happens when someone gains access to a domain name registrar without authorization or takes advantage of a vulnerability therein, via social engineering, or by accessing the domain name owner’s email address and then changing their domain name registrar password.
In order to impersonate the real domain name owner and convince the domain registrar to change the registration details or transfer the domain to another registrar under their control, it is also a frequent practice to obtain personal information about the real domain name owner. Other techniques include keyloggers stealing login passwords, email vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities at the domain registration level, and phishing assaults.
How to Get Back Stolen Domains
What your registrar can do to stop the assault will have a significant impact on your ability to reclaim a hijacked domain. Sometimes the original owner might get the registration information. When the hijacker was able to shift to another registrar, especially if that registrant is based in a foreign country, things become trickier.
Ask your registrar to use ICANN’s Registrar Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy when a stolen domain is moved to another registrar in an effort to reclaim ownership of the name. There is also the possibility of using ICANN’s Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to try to reclaim stolen domain names, however, this approach may not be suitable in all circumstances.
In certain circumstances, this won’t work, and you’ll need to file a lawsuit to regain the domain. The genuine problem (loss of website and/or email) may take a while to resolve because of the extensive procedure involved.
Register immediately by calling (416) 471-4545 or by visiting http://www.cybercert.ca.
Lead Instructor qualified in CISSP, CCIE, and MCT with 25 years of training experience in Toronto.