Entertainment // Web Services
"Ramshackle Glam,” a site dedicated to helping the domestically challenged, disappeared after a crook broke into the account of owner Jordan Reid.
Following a tip from a family friend, she found the domain she had owned for five years up for sale at Flippa.com, "The #1 place to buy and sell websites, domains and apps.”
A scammer somehow foiled the email confirmation system of HostMonster, the website registrar Reid uses, to fraudulently authorize the transfer of her domain into a private account at GoDaddy.
She reclaimed her blog about three days later after retracing her missteps, wiring the scammer thousands of dollars, and then putting a stop on the transfer.
Proving her identity to the hosting companies didn’t work.
HostMonster and GoDaddy, Reid asserts, knew that she was the rightful domain owner but were staffed with employees who were uninformed about how to handle the situation.
Once she got beyond front-line staffers and reached managers with the power to help, they chose to hide behind their legal departments instead, she claims
Meanwhile, “some guy going by the name of "bahbouh" was promising that the winning bidder - or buyer, given that you could "Buy It Now" for $30,000 (£18,080) - would get her traffic, her files, and her data,” Sophos reports. “To add insult to injury, bahbouh suggested that Reid would be available ‘for hire’ to keep writing posts.”
Afterward, Reid blogged about the experience to forewarn others and offer advice on achieving domestic bliss in the face of domain disasters. Here are some snippets:
This seemed like something that could be fixed with a couple of emails. Except the auction site was located in Australia and didn’t appear to have a phone number, and when I sent an email with a scanned ID and proof of ownership what I got back was a form letter…
…The morning after I found out about the unauthorized transfer, I also called the FBI. I felt silly and dramatic making the phone call, but the reality is that this is an international cybercrime issue, and that’s FBI territory. And this is my business. It’s how I support my family, and it may be a “small matter” in the grand scheme of things, but it is not a small matter to me.
And let me tell you: of all the surprises I’ve had over the past week or so, most surprising of all has been the FBI. They responded immediately, with follow-up phone calls and emails, an in-person interview with two special agents at my own home within 24 hours, and a follow-up visit from two agents yesterday. Beyond that, each and every agent I have interacted with over the past week has been, without fail, compassionate, thoughtful, invested, respectful, and committed to action…in addition to treating me not like a case number, but like a human.
ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.