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Asked and Answered

Can someone steal my domain name?

The Associated Press is reporting a moment in prosecution history.  A new jersey man has been arrested and charged with stealing a domain name, P2P.com.   

Allegedly, the man hacked into the domain owner’s email account. He used that information to retrieve the owner’s password to his Go Daddy account (Go Daddy was hosting the website).  The thief allegedly then changed the domain’s registered owner to his name. Then, the thief sold the domain on eBay for $100,000. 

 This is the first time someone has been charged with stealing a domain name, which is an intangible intellectual property.  Domain Name News provides a wonderfully in-depth article about the story, including a 2 year history of this domain’s ownership and domain theft.

 What can you, as a business owner, learn from this situation?

 First, take security of your email account seriously. Follow the guidelines suggested by government security experts  and the standard operating procedures for security promoted by Microsoft.  Your email account is the center of all your passwords. (Have you noticed that when you click on ‘lost your password’, most websites merely email a new password to you?).

Second, recognize that your domain name is property. Thus, protect it the way you protect your business’ other property. Purchase a commercial insurance policy to cover the theft or hacking of your domain name.  Verify that your business interruption insurance includes domain theft or misdirection.

 Third, review your security procedures regularly.   Criminals are motivated by greed; thus they will continually devise new ways to steal your property.

Do you have a legal question? We offer free consultations regarding this and others legal issues.  Call today or chat online, privately, with an attorney every Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at www.mckeeoffice.com


Sharmil McKee

Business Lawyer




McKee Law Office

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania