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Clara Edberg — 06/06/18

Domain name crime on the increase.

Peter Forsman, Abuse Manager at IIS, writes in the latest IIS newsletter that identity-theft and hijacking using domain names, is affecting companies and private individuals more and more often.

Criminals have been accessing companies’ publicly available information (their organization number or address, for example), and using them to order products to be paid by invoice. They’ve also been known to set up and use domain names similar to those of the targeted company, in order to link the company’s public information to a bogus web address. Having done this, fraudsters can buy up more and more physical and digital products, again to be paid (or rather, not paid) by invoice.

Another emerging problem when it comes to domain-related crime against companies is payment fraud or phishing, which is still done most often via email.

There are three big problems that can affect private individuals in this area. Firstly, people can end up ‘buying’ products through websites linked to hijacked domains which of course will never be delivered (domain hijacking – sometimes called domain theft – involves someone registering a domain containing a trademark or company name that doesn’t belong to them). There is also an issue with consumers being misled by the content on hijacked websites.
However the most common and persistent crime when it comes to private individuals is the kind of identity theft where criminals purchase products from legitimate companies, using their names and personal information. Often this can involve buying products or services on a subscription basis, so victims get signed up to long-term contracts with sky-high costs every month.

To fight against the increasing number of domain-related crimes and hijackings happening today, IIS are updating their procedures and routines so they can take quicker action against suspected crimes.
At Dotkeeper, we urge anyone who has suspicions about a potential hijacking to contact your domain registrar or manager, so they can help you prevent your digital assets being used fraudulently. There are also preventative steps you can take, by monitoring the registration of domain names that are similar to yours, and keeping an eye on any suspicious names that are registered.

You’re very welcome to contact us here at Dotkeeper if you want to talk more about this subject. We can also do an analysis of your digital assets to make sure everything’s secure.