Although a website owner may feel secure upon registering a domain name, many don’t realize that domains are subject to hijacking. Domain hijacking, or domain theft, is a prevalent nuisance that is on the increase. Hackers need not to even access the target web server to create havoc.
The process of hijacking a website really doesn’t require a lot of knowledge or even effort. There are various methods hackers use to hijack domains such as launching Trojan viruses, illegitimately acquiring login information or utilizing software to hack into a web hosting account to reconfigure ownership information. Once hackers gain access to the targeted web server’s control panel, the chaos and headaches begins for website owners.
While most domain hijacking attacks are illicit, large companies take advantage of their branding leverage citing copyright infringements. By doing so allows more established companies to legally “hijack” specific domains. Unfortunately, small companies simply don’t have the necessary resources to defend their domains when toppled by a larger company with the same resources readily available to combat legal battles.
Locking the Hijacking Tool Shed
The truth is hijacking of a domain doesn’t take an arsenal of tools to access an authorized account. The two basic items needed to hijack a domain is the target domain’s registrar name and the administrative e-mail address for the target domain. Upon accessing these two essential items, hackers can easily hijack a domain without the knowledge of the authorized owner. Website owners often don’t realize that this information is available online for the public to view by visiting www.whois.com. A simple search can reveal the imperative information needed to hijack a domain, however, it’s possible to thwart hacking attempt by opting for a private domain registration.
A private domain registration allows website owners to hide vital information such as personal details including name and administrative e-mail address. So, when a potential hacker looks up the domain on WHOIS, the information is hidden from public view. It’s strongly recommended that website owners take the proactive security measures and choose to hide such details to thwart hijacking attempts.
Additionally, website owners should always inquire about the respective registrar’s security policy. Also, ask about domain locking options as most registrars provide the feature to prevent unauthorized security breaches.
An Ounce of Prevention
Perhaps the best way to protect a domain name from being hijacked, aside from the above suggestions, is to opt for a reliable and trust-worthy provider. Remember that usually you get what you pay for, so if a proven legit provider costs a few dollars more, it’s worth the extra cost to protect your domain name from hijacking attempts. The initial proactive security costs are a well-worth investment, especially when compared to trying to undo the chaos created by a successful hacking mission.