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12|28|2014 02:10 pm EDT

TrafficZ Shutting down operations on Dec 31st, 2014

by Frank Michlick in Categories: PPC industry

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According to an email sent out by TrafficZ, it will cease it operations after Dec 31st, 2014, which is a relatively short notice. We’ve reached out for confirmation to Thought Convergence and also asked them if there’s any other properties/divisions that are still active besides DomainTools.

As you no doubt have heard by now, we recently announced the sales of our Aftermarket domain marketplace and our Agreed online escrow platform. In parallel with those sales, we will be discontinuing the TrafficZ domain parking and monetization service as of December 31, 2014.

In order to facilitate a smooth and seamless transition for you, our valued clients, we recommend that you explore alternative monetization providers and options for your domain assets. Many of our friends in the industry provide excellent domain management and monetization solutions, so we’re confident that you’ll find a suitable partner in no time.

Regardless of what you decide, though, please make sure to update your nameservers by 12:00 AM PST on next Wednesday, December 31, 2014, after which time we will no longer be serving ads from our upstream providers.

On behalf of the entire TrafficZ team, we’d like to thank you for your loyalty and support over the years (since 2002!!). And, as always, we wish you luck and continued success in all of your future endeavors.

Cheers, and Happy Holidays,
Ammar Kubba & Kevin Vo

12|23|2014 10:40 am EDT

Ron Jackson Finally Owns DomainNameJournal.com

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Auction, Domain Sales

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For more than a decade, Ron Jackson has been producing his domain industry publication DNJournal.  It’s been regarded as a “go-to” industry publication for his weekly sales reports and his “cover stories”, featuring prominent industry profiles, but did you know that Ron didn’t even own DomainNameJournal.com.  OMG Ron you don’t own all variations of your domain?  How could you even conduct a successful business?!

The site has always operated under DNJournal.com name (DN being an industry acronym for Domain Name) and over the last decade I’d say Ron has done a great job of making that a name we all know and trust.  I would venture to guess most of us in the industry call it by DNJournal.  Even so, from a brand perspective it probably would be smart for Ron to pick up DomainNameJournal.com too.  Ron already owns DomainJournal.com and NameJournal.com, in case you were wondering.

A few weeks ago the domain name DomainNameJournal.com expired and more recently went to auction at NameJet, with the closing slated for December 22nd. The final sales price ended up being $250.  The winner was none other than Ron Jackson.  There were a couple of bidder IDs that showed up early :  “pheenix”, “aaaaaaaaa” and “thegeneral1979″  but there wasn’t much competition. It really feels like the name was not bid up at all . . . maybe as a courtesy to a really great guy.

Unsure about who was bidding for Ron or if he was bidding, I reached out to make sure he had his sights on this name. He replied with an interesting story about domainers and “dick moves”.

I don’t know if you know the story behind that domain. Goes all the way back to the end of 2002 when I asked people at DNForum to help me pick a name from a few options I listed. They picked DNJournal which I liked best as well, so I registered that name. Within a few days, some other forum member from Canada (forget his name – Lorenzo or something like that) registered DomainNameJournal.com and tried to sell it to me. At the time I was too stupid to consider registering other variations of the name. He has held it for 12 years and I was determined I would never let him profit from it (at least from me as I thought his initial action was a dick move). Others who inquired said he wanted $1500. I would have gone that high in this auction but would never have given it to him.”

 

What do you think?  Was it a “dick move” ?  IMHO it was.
Here’s one the older DNF threads where the former owner talks about owning this name : http://dnforum.com/threads/forgive-me.18710/#post-135923 .  Many of DNFs older threads seem to be missing.

I’m just glad to see after all these years to see Ron the new owner of DomainNameJournal.com

12|17|2014 11:18 am EDT

ICANN systems compromised through phishing attack

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

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A number of ICANN’s staff email accounts have been compromised by a phishing attack, which lead to administrative passwords to other systems being exposed as well, as Necraft reports.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has fallen victim to a phishing attack which resulted in the attackers gaining administrative access to some of ICANN’s systems, including its Centralized Zone Data Service (CZDS).

In an email alert sent this morning, ICANN said it believes a spear phishing attack in November resulted in several ICANN staff members’ email credentials being compromised. The stolen passwords were then used to gain unauthorised access to multiple ICANN systems, which could have resulted in other usernames and passwords being compromised.

Although CZDS passwords are stored as salted hashes, ICANN has taken the precaution of deactivating passwords and API keys used on the compromised CZDS service. ICANN implemented some security enhancements earlier this year, which it believes limited the extent of the unauthorised access, and has implemented further measures since this attack.

Here’s the email that ICANN wrote to users of is CZDS:

ACTION REQUIRED: CZDS Security Disclosure

ICANN is investigating a recent intrusion into our systems. We believe a
“spear phishing” attack was initiated in late November 2014. It involved email
messages that were crafted to appear to come from our own domain being sent to
members of our staff. The attack resulted in the compromise of the email
credentials of several ICANN staff members.

In early December 2014 we discovered that the compromised credentials were
used to access certain ICANN systems including the Centralized Zone Data
Service (CZDS). 

You are receiving this notice because the attacker obtained administrative
access to all files in the CZDS including copies of the zone files in the
system. The information you provided as a CZDS user might have been downloaded
by the attacker. This may have included your name, postal address, email
address, fax and telephone numbers, and your username and password. Although
the passwords were stored as salted cryptographic hashes, we have deactivated
your CZDS password (and API key if applicable) as a precaution. Additional
information about the attack is included in an announcement that is posted at
https://www.icann.org/news.

In order to continue using CZDS, please visit http://czds.icann.org and follow
the instructions there to request a new password. We suggest that you take
appropriate steps to protect any other online accounts for which you might
have used the same username and/or password.  

This notice was not delayed as a result of a law enforcement investigation.
Earlier this year, ICANN began a program of security enhancements in order to
strengthen information security for all ICANN systems. We believe these
enhancements helped limit the unauthorized access obtained in the attack.
Since discovering the attack, we have implemented additional security
measures.

We are providing information about this incident publicly, not just because of
our commitment to openness and transparency, but also because sharing of
cybersecurity information helps all involved to assess threats to their
systems.

If you would like further assistance or information, you may contact us by
email to customerservice@icann.org or by telephone at +1-424-277-3192 or U.S.
toll-free at +1-800-401-1703.

Thank you for your attention to this. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or
concern this incident may cause you.


ICANN Registry Services

 

12|16|2014 05:43 pm EDT

DomainFest will be part of NamesCon 2015 in Las Vegas

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Events

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NamesCon | Las Vegas January 11th-14th 2015 2014-12-16 17-56-02

A change on the Namescon Agenda lead The Domains to ask if NamesCon had bought out domainFEST – well, here’s the official press Release and reply. DomainFest becomes the first day of the conference geared towards newcomers. If you read the text on the updated DomainFest website, it appears that there’s a plan to carry the name forward and use it for “a series of international DomainFest regional events”.

DomainFest is one of the longest running events in the Domain Name industry. Its early origins in the early 2000s was a one day gathering with a mix of sharing new industry information and a social networking event. DomainFest will continue that tradition after being acquired by NamesCon.

Originally established as a casual meeting of domain investors as early as 2002, Donna Mahony generously donated the domain name to Oversee in 2006. Starting with small conferences in LA and Barcelona, Oversee grew Domainfest into a large, global conference series, attracting domainers, marketing professionals and celebrity speakers from all over the world.

“We are very proud of the industry-leading conference that we built up over the years”, said Debra Domeyer, CEO of Oversee.net.  “DomainFest is one of the longest running events in the Domain industry.  We are proud to recognize the importance of the DomainFest events to the industry and are extremely happy to be passing the DomainFest ownership into the capable hands of NamesCon.”

Richard Lau, producer of NamesCon said “We are carrying the DomainFest torch forward. NamesCon co-founder Jothan Frakes and I met at the Seattle DomainFest in March 2005. We are immensely proud to be able to announce that Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 is ‘DomainFest @NamesCon’.” Like DomainFest conferences in the past, NamesCon 2015 Las Vegas will also host a domain auction (run by Right of the Dot) and feature Keynote speakers and world-class entertainment.

DomainFest @NamesCon will start at 10am on Sunday Jan 11, 2015 and the day will be an excellent venue for newcomers and veterans alike. Jothan Frakes, who has a long history of producing domain conferences stated, “The DomainFest events had great energy and I am delighted to see that the success of NamesCon will maintain the spirit and legacy of DomainFest.”  Jothan has planned out a full agenda for the Domainfest @NamesCon day.

The Sunday Evening Networking and Entertainment event for DomainFest @NamesCon will feature Peter Pavone – the Las Vegas Best 2014 Tribute Artist of the Year.

DomainFest @NamesCon is included in your conference pass when you register for NamesCon 2015 Las Vegas.

Two great conferences, one low price.

To RSVP & Register please visit: www.DomainFest.com or www.NamesCon.com

[via Press Release]

12|01|2014 11:21 am EDT

Europol seizes 292 domains for counterfeit goods on Cyber Monday

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Legal Issues

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The European law agency Europol has seized 292 domain names in cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 25 law enforcement agencies from 19 countries. The sites were allegedly used to sell counterfeit merchandise, such as sportswear, electronics, pharmaceuticals, but also movies and music.

Countries involved were: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

Law enforcement has been preparing for this since August based on information provided to them by trademark holders. The domain names seized are now in the custody of the governments involved in these operations. Visitors typing those domain names into their web browsers will find either a banner that notifies them of the seizure and educates them about the crime of wilful copyright infringement, or the visitors will not be able to access the website anymore.

Project “In Our Sites” (IOS) is a sustained law enforcement initiative that began to protect consumers by targeting the sale of counterfeit merchandise on the Internet. The 292 domain names seized under Operation IOS V brings the total number of IOS domain names seized to 1829 since the IOS project began in November 2012.

[via CIO, Europol Press Release]