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06|25|2014 03:11 pm EDT

Is Key Systems running the new Google Registrar?

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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While the domain and tech industry is abuzz talking about how Google is launching their new own retail registrar in a private beta that is mostly being tested with the help of employees, DNN embarked on the journey to uncover what Google’s technical solution looks liked; and in turn discovered that it appears that the new registrar is built on Key Systems’s RRPProxy – a hosted registrar/reseller solution.

DNN didn’t have to look far – the answer to the mystery is right in the whois – as part of the referral URL as to which whois server is to be queried. We did manage to find a Google related domain that is registered through Google’s registrar –

Domain Name: EXIT.COM
Registrar: GOOGLE INC.
Whois Server:
Referral URL:
Name Server: NS17.ZONEEDIT.COM
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Updated Date: 10-feb-2014
Creation Date: 03-nov-1994
Expiration Date: 02-nov-2022

In the whois results, one line especially jumped out to us:

   Whois Server:

RRP Proxy, is the reseller system of the German company Key Systems, which is also available to be used by other ICANN accredited registrars.

DNN has reached out to Key Systems and Google for comment, but have not yet heard back.

11|05|2013 10:25 am EDT

Demand Media to Spin Off Domain Registration Business into RightSide [Press Release]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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Rightside websiteAs already predicted by Andrew over at DNW:

Demand Media Announces Key Executives and Name for Proposed Domain Services Company

Company Will Lead Expansion of Generic Top Level Domains under Rightside Brand; Taryn Naidu Selected as Incoming CEO

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–()–Demand Media, Inc. (NYSE: DMD), a leading media and domain services company, today announced that Taryn Naidu, who currently serves as Demand Media’s Executive Vice President of Domain Services, will become the CEO and a Director of the newly formed domain services company that is proposed to be spun off from Demand Media. Demand Media also announced that it has selected the name Rightside Group, Ltd. (“Rightside”) for the spun off domain services business.

“It’s an exciting time for us, as new gTLDs start going live this year and our path to becoming an independent public company as a leader in our industry progresses.”

Rightside will be a Kirkland, WA based technology and services company for the Internet domain industry. The company will advance the way consumers and businesses define and present themselves online through a comprehensive technology platform making it possible to discover, register, develop, and monetize domain names. Rightside will play a leading role in the historic launch of new generic Top Level Domains, and the name represents a new way to navigate the Internet, while establishing the new company as the one to guide users in the right direction. It’s everything to the right of the dot – and beyond.

Taryn Naidu, who has led Demand Media’s domain services business since 2011 will become Chief Executive Officer of Rightside, upon completion of the separation. Additionally, Rightside executive management will include Wayne MacLaurin as Chief Technology Officer and Rick Danis as General Counsel. David Panos will be appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Shawn Colo, Demand Media’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, will be appointed as a Director of Rightside in connection with the separation.

“Establishing the leadership team and brand identity of the proposed new company marks an important milestone in achieving our plan to separate our business into two distinct market leaders,” said Demand Media Interim President and Chief Executive Offer Shawn Colo. “I am pleased to announce a very strong executive team led by Taryn. This team has a wealth of industry experience, has played an integral role in building the largest wholesale domain registrar and is driving the transformation of this business into one of the largest end-to-end domain name service providers in the world.”

“Rightside’s mission will be to help millions of businesses and consumers define and present themselves online. We’re able to deliver on this through our distribution network of more than 20,000 active partners, one of the leading domain services technology platforms, a large number of applications for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), and a deep bench of industry talent,” said Taryn Naidu, newly designated incoming Chief Executive Officer of Rightside. “It’s an exciting time for us, as new gTLDs start going live this year and our path to becoming an independent public company as a leader in our industry progresses.”

About Rightside

Rightside plans to inspire and deliver new possibilities for consumers and businesses to define and present themselves online. The company will be a leading provider of domain name services, offering one of the industry’s most comprehensive platforms for the discovery, registration, development, and monetization of domain names. This will include 15 million names under management, the most widely used domain name reseller platform, more than 20,000 distribution partners, an award-winning retail registrar, the leading domain name auction service and an interest in more than 100 new Top Level Domain applications. Rightside will be home to some of the most admired brands in the industry, including eNom,, United TLD and NameJet (in partnership with Headquartered in Kirkland, WA, Rightside will have offices in North America and Europe. For more information please visit

About Demand Media

Demand Media, Inc. (NYSE: DMD) is a leading digital media and domain services company that informs and entertains one of the internet’s largest audiences, helps advertisers find innovative ways to engage with their customers and enables publishers, individuals and businesses to expand their online presence. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Demand Media has offices in North America, South America and Europe. For more information about Demand Media, please visit

10|15|2013 03:22 pm EDT

Go Daddy Acquires Media Temple

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars, Up to the Minute

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As reported by TechCrunch, Go Daddy has acquired hosting company Media Temple, also know as (mt). Financial details of the acquisition, which did not include website builder Virb, which is being spun out, were not published. The two companies are going be operated separately.

[TechCrunch, Press Release, Media Temple FAQ]

09|19|2013 09:52 am EDT

Go Daddy to acquire Afternic and Smartname from Namemedia

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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As announced in an email to members of AfterNIC and Smartname, Go Daddy is to acquire the two platforms from Namemedia.

Afternic and Smartname will continue to operate as separate brands and the business terms are going to continue to be the same. Go Daddy will be joining Afternic’s Fast transfer network.

For details see the full text of the emails after the jump:


07|31|2013 11:34 am EDT

eNom & DreamHost Announce Hosting and Domain Partnership

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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Kirkland, Washington – July 31, 2013eNom, Inc. and DreamHost, today announced a strategic partnership between the two companies. As part of the agreement, DreamHost will utilize the eNom reseller platform to manage its existing domain name business and new gTLDs as they become available. Additionally, eNom will provide its clients access to the DreamHost hosting platform including virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, and cloud hosting. DreamHost will remain an ICANN accredited registrar.

 “Our entrepreneur, designer and developer customers are passionate about being on the cutting edge of Internet technology and trends,” said Simon Anderson, CEO of DreamHost.  “The new gTLD domain name extensions launching this year, including .web, .shop, and even .ninja, are exciting opportunities to build new brands and web channels for customers and eNom enables us to deliver the whole enchilada!”

 “This partnership is the organic next step for both of our businesses,” said Chris Sheridan, Vice President of Business Development for eNom. “Over the past ten years we’ve built out the industry’s best wholesale domain registrar. More than 8,800 resellers have registered 14 million domain names on this platform. This partnership is a great step toward our goal of continuing to serve our clients with hosting and cloud services up to the standards set by our domain products.”

 This collaboration marks the two companies’ continued dedication to the launch of new gTLDs this year, which will give rise to the release of new domain extensions in a few short months. In an effort to support this new phase, eNom will begin to promote DreamHost’s services through its retail business by October 1, 2013.

 About eNom

eNom, Inc., is the world’s largest ICANN accredited wholesale domain name registrar. A part of the Demand Media (NYSE: DMD) family of companies, eNom makes it easy for individuals and organizations to buy and sell Internet domains and related services.  For more information about eNom, please visit

 About DreamHost

DreamHost is a global Web hosting and cloud services provider with over 375,000 customers and 1.25 million blogs, websites and apps hosted.  The company offers a wide spectrum of Web hosting and cloud services including Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Dedicated Server Hosting, Domain Name Registration, the cloud storage service, DreamObjects, and the cloud computing service DreamCompute.  Please visit for more information.

[via Press Release]

05|10|2013 01:59 am EDT and Respond to Hack Claims

by Adam Strong in Categories: Registrars

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Wednesday DNN ran an article about a purported hack of several domain name registrars by HTP (Hack the Planet).  While HTP claimed that the hosting company was the intended target, the group also claimed they were able to hack in to Melbourne IT,, Moniker and Xinnet and provided “evidence” of this on their HTP5 zine in a file called registrar-data.txt . acknowledged the hack in a blog post. has not responded specifically to the claims made by HTP, but the company sent out an email on the same day of our story alerting customers to change their passwords. recently discovered a security breach where customer account information including usernames, email addresses, and encrypted passwords and encrypted credit card account information may have been accessed by unauthorized individuals. It appears that the security breach was motivated by an attempt to gain information on a single, large commercial account at representatives sent DNN a statement today about the claims made by HTP.  As we had mentioned in the earlier article, the information published (which we are not reprinting for obvious reasons) contained a handful of user names and passwords for administrative personnel with email addresses using  Moniker is no longer owned by Oversee and some of the employees on that list are no longer with Moniker or Oversee for that matter. The information seemed dated at best.

Moniker’s letter to DNN stated :

“In regards to the alleged attack, our investigation has revealed the following facts.

-The published file does not contain any access or information related to or about Moniker customers, their accounts or their domains.

-The information was also not accessed through the Moniker registrar platform.

-The information included in the file contained access to a discontinued standalone content only site intended for public viewing.

We take any security questions extremely seriously and felt it important to provide a detailed response.”


From what DNN saw in the HTP published files, there did not appear to be any customer user names or passwords from any of the registrars mentioned including Melbourne IT,, or Xinnet.  (In other words, your log-in information isn’t published somewhere online for everyone to grab.)  The published file seems to be more of a “look what we saw” snapshot.

05|08|2013 08:49 am EDT

Hackers Break in to Prominent Domain Registrars, Moniker, Melbourne IT, and Xinnet

by Adam Strong in Categories: Registrars

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A story on Hacker News from earlier Tuesday  mentions that a group of hackers , Hack The Planet (HTP), was able to hack in to several domain name registrars late last year . The registrars were not  specifically targeted, rather they were hacked in order to take down the hosting of another hacker’s IRC channel.

Even though the registrars were not specific targets of the attack, HTP have posted a file called registrar-data.txt (not resolving now which details some of the info accessed from the registrars.

The HTP5 zine (now apparently down, cached copy here) brags about the registrars being “owned”., MelbourneIT, Moniker and Xinnet are mentioned: Speaking of registrars, Xinnet, MelbourneIT, and Moniker – you’re all owned. Back in November, we hinted at Huawei access in our Symantec release. Their registrar? Xinnet. Total domains owned: about 5.5 million total. No kidding. :P

The hackers admitted difficulty with Melbourne IT security specifically because the registrar controls the DNS for Twitter.   “Domain management credz for Melbourne IT are mostly internal SOAP requests. DNS control of Twitter is tight.”

The info that was accessible from the hack in to seems to include data base access to a great amount of information.  The registrar-data file lists countless databases including quickbooks, customer info, hosting accounts, etc.

The Moniker information that was published included several administrator accounts with user names and passwords. Some of the accounts included former employees of Moniker/Oversee. Moniker is no longer a company owned by Oversee so that information seems to be somewhat dated.

As these are claims by hackers that have yet to be verified by the registrars involved, DNN is making attempts to contact all registrars involved to find out what breaches of security occurred and what was done to fix these problems.  To our knowledge no customer account information has been published publicly and there are no reports of domains stolen.

As reported by Michael Berken’s The Domains, sent an email alerting their customers of the breach asking them to change their passwords.

03|14|2013 02:36 pm EDT

CSC buys Melbourne IT’s DBS for $152MM AUD

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars, Up to the Minute

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As reported by a number of sources, Melbourne IT (ASX:MLB) is selling it’s Digital Brand Management (DBS) to Corporation Services Company (CSC) for $152.5 million AUD. Melbourne IT had originally purchased the Digital Brand Management unit from VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) for $50MM USD in 2008 and merged it with their existing corporate clients.

01|07|2013 09:03 am EDT

Demand Media to buy

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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Demand Media just announced this morning that the are acquiring the retail registrar was founded by Bill Mushkin in 2003. Demand Media also owns eNom and and is an active player in the new gTLD space. The acquisition will increase their reach into direct domain sales. has over 1.5 million domain names under management.

Santa Monica, California – January 7, 2013 – Demand Media® (NYSE:  DMD), a leading digital media company, today announced the acquisition of Denver-based, a domain name registrar known for its strong retail footprint, award-winning customer service and creative spirit.  The acquisition is intended to expand Demand Media’s platform as it prepares for the historic release of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) this year.

Founded in 2003, customers have registered nearly 1.5 million domains, and use the company’s tools and services to grow their online presence.  As the second largest registrar in the world, Demand Media’s eNom subsidiary has over 13.5 million domain names on its platform registered by over 8,800 resellers and partners.  “ will provide a direct channel for us to reach consumers and small businesses as they develop and manage their online identities,” said Richard Rosenblatt, chairman and CEO, Demand Media. “This becomes even more valuable as over one thousand new domain extensions are expected to become available for registration in the years ahead.”


In 2011, ICANN initiated the process for creating new domain extensions as a way to increase domain name choices for memorable or descriptive web addresses (for example, can become or and help organize websites and information better (for example, could end in a domain extension that maps to the nature of the business, such as .law, .architect or .cpa).  Last June, ICANN announced it had received 1,930 applications for new TLDs that were submitted by entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and communities around the world looking to operate a TLD registry of their own choosing.

Demand Media will retain the Denver-based team and the business will report to Taryn Naidu, executive vice president, Registrar Services.  “Our strategy is to provide an end-to-end solution for all things domains — whether you are looking to consume or distribute names and services,” said Naidu.  “ brings innovation, creativity and a deep commitment to their customers – factors which we believe are essential in the environment of new gTLDs.”

[via Press Release]

01|05|2013 04:47 pm EDT

Godaddy Reverses Multiple Groupon Code Redemptions

by Adam Strong in Categories: Registrars

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Lots of buzz surrounded the end of the year Godaddy Groupon code deal.  For $25 the deal would get you $70 in credit on godaddy.  The credit applied to anything they sold, including premium domain listings as some reported.  Some domainers/couponers went all-in buying groupons from the 70 or so cities that had the coupons available.  Godaddy has plugged that leak and reversed all those extra credits. As my grandfather taught me, “if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is”.

I have to admit I jumped in to this and bought a few extra. I have thousands of names and using these on renewals was too good of a deal to pass up. I just checked my account after seeing Domain Shane’s post and all charges have been reversed.  As Shane put it “Godaddy Blows It Again“.   Oh well it was a nice idea for someone else to do right next time.  I bet has some ideas up their sleeves already.

There’s been no news on what happened to the money I spent on those codes. I suspect I’ll see all the extra charges go back on to my credit card.

Anyone who bought extra credits and applied them to big purchases, please let us know what happened to those purchases.