Domain Hijackers Hit Design and Development Blogs

There has been a sudden outbreak of design and development blogs having their domain names hijacked and held for ransom. It seems to have started with David Walsh’s site, when his domain name was mysteriously transferred from GoDaddy to Name.com and from there to 1and1. The DNS records have been pointed back to Walsh’s host by 1and1 while things are sorted out, but for now the domain is still not under his control.

About one day later, the same thing happened to Chris Coyier’s CSS-Tricks.com. Someone gained access to his GMail and GoDaddy accounts and moved the domain to PlanetDomain. From his detailed chronicle of the events, it’s a possibility that he may have a keylogger on his computer, as the miscreant has been able to get around password resets of the GMail account, and may have even accessed the Media Temple server CSS-Tricks is hosted on. Coyier also received the impeccably-penned threat “pay 2k to get ur domain back.”

This has recently happened to a few other big-name sites in the same field, including Abduzeedo, Kirupa, Design Shack and InstantShift. Abduzeedo was able to catch the transfer and stop it, though. (Interestingly, it has been almost exactly four years since the same thing happened to logo designer David Airey.)

Just to be on the safe side, you might want to do a quick WHOIS search on your own domain and make sure it’s still on your registrar.

Update, Dec 5: Planetdomain is reversing the transfer, and moving the CSS-Tricks.com domain back to Chris Coyier’s GoDaddy account.