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This article was published on November 3, 2008

    Who stole Makeuseof.com?

    Who stole Makeuseof.com?
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    The extremely popular Makeuseof.com domainname has been stolen over the weekend. The domain name currently redirects to a standard landing page and the original site is now temporarily hosted on Blogspot: http://makeuseof-temporary.blogspot.com/

    The owners of Makeuseof.com have some idea of who might have hacked their account and are busy resolving the whole situation:

    “The hacker had transferred ownership of the makeuseof.com domain from the GoDaddy account to another web registrar company called NameCheap (the reseller for ENOM). Looking at the emails now we can say that it took him less then an hour to do that. The WHOIS entry is here and you can see that it is an Ali Ferank in Dubai. That’s our bad guy. We have absolutely no idea how he managed to gain access to the account but access it he did. We suspect he might have hacked into the email account tied to GoDaddy but we are still not sure about it.”

    They are now in contact with the domain thief who told them bluntly:

    Hi there,
    I said it very simply and very easily !
    2 K !
    Deal or not ?!
    You own the domain I get the money…
    Regards

    Apparently Ali Ferank in Dubai found out some of the secret information hidden in their GoDaddy account, then called GoDaddy, impersonated one of the founders and asked GoDaddy to transfer the domainname. After checking the account data with the impersonator GoDaddy complied and moved the domainname to a new host in less than an hour.

    The real owners of Makeuseof.com only learned what happened when they couldn’t log into their systems and started making calls to find out what happened. Now they are talking with several hosting companies to get their domain name back, and catch Ali Ferank or the person behind the theft.