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Web sites hijacked? 
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Post Web sites hijacked?
A friend of mine in London is writing me for help with a Web hosting problem, but I have precisely zero experience with those issues. Here's what she says:
Quote:
For TWO YEARS, I have been trying to rescue Trackbedtranslations.com and Trackbedtranslations.co.uk. I cannot get the sites back in my control and up and running again even though I own them. I had hoped to get help from EasyCGI, which is one of my providers, but they are utterly useless.

If anyone here can help us figure out how to accomplish what she wants, we'd both be very grateful. Thanks in advance.

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Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
There are several layers to owning and managing a web site.

1) You have to own, or at least have technical control of, the domain. This is done at the domain registration level. It is common for one person (say, a company) to have administrative ownership of the domain while another (the website manager) has technical control, but both are usually in the same name. Admin control trumps tech control but sometimes you have to exercise registration override authority.

2) You have to have a website host - a server location somewhere that will hold the site files and answer the door when users knock by entering the URL.

3) You have to have your domain pointed to the host by means of DNS mapping. DNS is what tells the world that "joebitesdog.com" should be translated to "75.120.250.5" or another dotted-quad address that the network machinery really uses to navigate and connect.

I can't quite tell from the description where she's having trouble. From the domain registration, it looks as if she (Josephine?) has admin ownership and control while a hosting or registration service has the technical control. She may need to transfer the domain registration to another service - I would recommend a quality pay one, not a cheapie or freebie service; you get what you pay for.

Once she has unfettered control of the registration, she needs to (1) get a hosting account with someone - this is NOT the same as domain registration and ownership - and then (2) get the domain registrar to point the DNS entries to that new hosting. She then (3) should be able to build a new website on that host, at that address. If she had a functioning website somewhere before, it likely is no longer there - I can't really say, though, without more info.

Happy to help further if needed.

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Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:38 pm
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
James Gifford wrote:
1) You have to own, or at least have technical control of, the domain.
Yes, this really is the foundational point, and may require the domain-name owner's legal notification to the registrar to assert ownership and acquire control. I've only had one client that needed to do this: the administrator / developer had disappeared. A "Whois" request for each domain-name will tell you who to contact. Establishing control of the domain-names is essential.

The layers on top of this Jim describes clearly; these may seem complicated but are really just technical and can be done one step at a time. They can be delegated in whole or part to a developer, if desired; the procedure is standard. I second the recommendation to pay a little for a quality site-hosting account.

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Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:25 am
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
Thanks, guys. Here is Josephine's reply:

Quote:
I have a potential host, EasyCGI but they will only host it if it is registered with Tucows. I can't get the person who runs Powerstorm and who has hijacked my site and put up something else to release the site to me and eNom say they won't do it unless he does. This is the reply I got from Powerstorm.
Quote:
Dear Josephine,

We have unlocked trackbedtranslations.com and send you the authorization code for it. There are no locks/authorization codes for .co.uk domains so if you wish to have that transferred, we'll need bluehost's tag so that we can submit it to Enom for them to set so you can transfer it at bluehost.

As you can see, there is no authorization codes for .co.uk domains. we need bluehost's tag so we can tell enom to set it to that so you can have bluehost transfer the.domain over to them. So we have been waiting for you to provide this information.

Also, this message was sent to this email address on April 17th as shown in the attached screenshot. You should make sure your mail server is not blocking our emails for spam. We replied to your ticket in a timely manner. Its not our fault your mail server didn't deliver your message.

Just for completeness, here is Enom's documentation on it (for tranfsers to them):

To submit a transfer for a co.uk or org.uk domain, select the "auto-verification" transfer method. Because .uk transfers are a push/pull process, you must initiate a transfer request with eNom AND submit a request to the losing registrar. Contact your current registrar and request to retag the domain name to the IPS tag ENOM. This starts the transfer away process.

It does not matter the order in which the requests are submitted, however, if you initiate the transfer with eNom first, you must submit the request to the losing registrar within one week. If initiating the request to the losing registrar first, you must initiate your transfer with eNom by either the 8th of current month or the 8th of the following month, whichever is closest to the current date.

What fees are involved?

At the time of the transfer request with eNom, we will pre-authorize the full cost (two year renewal price).

For .uk transfers where the domain has more than 3 months remaining on the domain expiration will be FREE.

For .uk transfers where the domain is within 3 months or less of its renewal date, the domain will be renewed for 2 years upon transfer and a charge for two year's renewal will be made.

Please note: .uk domains don't use authorization codes or registrar locks.

Here is Enom's documentation for transfers away from Enom:

In order to facilitate the transfer away of .uk domains, we must update the Nominet TAG for the domain(s) to reflect that of the new registrar. Please provide the domain name(s) to be retagged (transferred) and the gaining registrar's Nominet tag. Include this information in a case submitted through our Support Center (click the Ask A Question tab) from the account where the domain resides.

For a complete list of Nominet tag holders go to: http://www.nominet.org.uk/registrars/be ... r/taglist/

We will get the tag set once you provide it to us. You will then have one week for BlueHost to initiate the transfer.

Hal Bouma

Netwisp, Inc.
I am going round in circles, eNom says they won't release the site without his say-so, he says the opposite. I can't get any help from any of them, what should I do?

If your forum people can help I would be most grateful. Also if they can recommend a good hosting company in the future.

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Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:49 am
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
Josephine asked me to relay my thanks to Jim and Robert for the suggestions. I also posted my plea on the message board of the Silicon Valley Mac User Group, and someone there recommended signing up with a new hosting service (he recommended BlueHost) and let their techies worry about getting everything repaired. She likes that option and has had pleasant dealings with BlueHost in the past, so that's what she's going to try. Once again, we appreciate the help.

Dan

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Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:56 pm
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
That's basically what I was going to suggest when we connected (she never replied to my email). Go to a good hosting company, buy yer hosting there, transfer in your registrations and let them battle the former registrar for you.

There will be many tedious bits along the way - logging into approve the transfer, responding to email to acknowledge the transfer, etc. - but in a few short days she should have unfettered control of both the domains and the host sites, and be ready to march onward.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:19 pm
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
I'm sorry to hear she wasn't polite enough to acknowledge your email. Thanks for trying.

According to whois, the .com site is already hosted by BlueHost, and the registrant and administrative contact info is already correct, so I guess it's just a matter of enlisting their techies' help to oust the squatter. I can't tell what's up with the .co.uk site.

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Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:51 pm
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
Both sites appear to have her address as the admin contact. I don't see any squatter involved here except that the technical contact for the .com is the hosting service.

Transfer to a third party hosting service and working it through should clear the blockage.

Part of my confusion come from not understanding if she has an actual web site somewhere that someone has blocked or hijacked. That doesn't appear to be the case, so all she has to do is untangle the domain ownership and get it pointed to new hosting.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
My understanding was that the content on the two sites wasn't what she wanted there, for whatever reason, and she was unable to change it. She seems to believe she knows who has control of the content and he won't return that control to her. But I have no idea what it is, precisely, that gives a particular person that control, and what it takes to move the control to a different person.

Thanks for changing the name of this board. I think it makes it easier to figure out what topics are appropriate here.

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Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:39 am
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Post Re: Web sites hijacked?
I am still a little bit confused but your comments indicate that there's a discontinuity between her ownership and someone else's site access and control. Admin control and ownership always win, so changing the technical access and re-pointing the domain to a new host and site is straightforward.

There are ways to give a third party access to a web site for editing and update, but it involves assigning them a controlled FTP account - they can only use it to access the web site files, not any of the control or admin functions, and the account can be blocked, limited or deleted at any time by the site owner/admin. It is common to have such accounts for a third-party web developer and to disable the accounts unless an authorized round of updating etc. is taking place.

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Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:01 am
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