• We're Baaaaack! Welcome back to HowardForums!


    Were back! In case you haven't noticed, weve been using HowardForum.com as a temporary domain for the past 13 days. Our domain name HowardForums.com was stolen and we only got it back on Friday afternoon. I held off posting about this because I wanted to wait for the DNS change to fully propagate. In case youre not aware of what happened heres a timeline of what happened along with a touching correspondence with the domain thief:
    Sept 5-7: I was at the Nokia Lumia 820/920 announcement when I had to print something. The hotel (Hotel Gansevoort in the Meat Packing district) had free printing at their business center. Against my better judgement I checked my email using this computer. I suspect my password was captured by a keylogger. BTW, After this ordeal I now use 2 factor authentication on my email accounts. I think the domain transfer process started on Sept 10th. Filters were created in the email account to automatically delete emails from GoDaddy.

    Sept 15: our domain HowardForums.com was stolen and transferred to Aust Domains. I phoned GoDaddy asking for help and they instructed me to email their domain transfer dispute department. I found out that this department does not work on the weekend. I was dismayed that no one would be able to help me until Monday. I complained about this on Facebook and Twitter. I also began using HowardForum.com (no s) as a temporary domain. I also called Aust Domains in Australia asking for help. They told me they cant do anything about it.

    Sept 16: after seeing my complaints on twitter GoDaddy began working via email with me to our domain back. They emailed Aust Domains proof that I own the domain.

    Sept 17: 1 day since the initial email, Aust Domains still hasnt responded to GoDaddy about my stolen domain. GoDaddy emails Aust Domains a second time.

    Sept 18: 2 days since the initial email, Aust Domains still hasnt responded to GoDaddy regarding my stolen domain.

    Sept 20: 4 days since the initial email, Aust Domains still hasnt responded to GoDaddy regarding my stolen domain.

    Sept 21: Aust Domains finally responds to GoDaddy. Why did it take them 5 days to respond? Do they care that theyre holding onto a stolen domain?

    Sept 23: I called Aust Domains again. They were not helpful and told me to talk to ICANN. I asked to speak to a manager to someone higher up but they refused to transfer me.

    Sept 24: I get news from GoDaddy that Aust Domain has finally agreed to return the domain. Theyre going to transfer the domain to Verisign (the company that controls .com registrations) and then Verisign will transfer it back to me. First Aust Domains has to authorize the transfer.

    Sept 26: Aust Domains actually authorizes the domain transfer. Now I have to wait for Verisign to return the domain. Im told this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

    Sept 27: Someone emails me out of the blue offering to sell me my stolen domain for $400. The email address theyre using is the one is the one listed on the whois for howardforums AFTER it was stolen. Here is PART of the conversation we had via email.

    Thief: Hello,
    I'm ready to sell that domain for 400 $.
    let me know if you are interested so we can talk about the transaction method.
    Me: Sure, how do I pay you?

    How did you end up with the domain?
    Me: Just to confirm, this is for howardforums.com?
    Scumbag: what happened ?
    so you only wanted my confirmation ?
    my offer is valid for 12 hours anyway.

    good luck
    Me: Sorry I need to get the money
    Sleazebag: Its not 4500 USD.
    Its 450 $.
    Again this offer is valid for 12 hours Mr. Choi


    Regards.
    Me: How do I know you'll give me my domain if I pay you? How did you end up with my domain anyways?
    Slimeball: Ummm.
    You have to trust me if you want this domain.
    I'm not looking for any trouble, You pay and I'll provide you the info instantly after payment.
    I'm not going to make any trouble for me and my business for 450 $.
    I bought it. I'm a domain broker.
    Me: Where did you buy it from? I didn't sell it to anyone.
    Dirtbag: The important thing is I'm the owner of this domain at this moment and after few weeks I decided to sell this domain.
    And we both know I have this domain.
    That is the reason I believe you are wasting my time by asking unrelated question or by saying I'm trying to get that money !!

    Regards
    Me: Okay sorry, I'll let you know when I get the money. First I have to sell my iPhone.
    Potty mouth: Oh pleaseeeeeeeee.
    Are you serious ? don't **** with me please.
    You don't need to do that.
    I think you need it more than this domain, so please keep it.
    Me: I can't get that much for my iPhone. Would you take $350 instead? It's all I have.

    I can also trade you my other phone if you'd like.
    Sept 28: The Domain HowardForums.com shows up in my GoDaddy account. Thank you GoDaddy! The entire ordeal lasted 13 days. While I was initially very upset with GoDaddy because their domain transfer dispute was closed on the weekends Id like to point out that they began helping me on Sunday that weekend. A big thank you also to goes Aust Domains for returning my domain. Still, Im very disturbed from the initial email to when they agreed to return the domain took over 9 days. Im just speculating here but does Aust Domains typically take this long to respond to a stolen domain? Is this the reason why the thief choose to transfer to them?

    As for the domain thief who knows why they did this. Maybe they were upset that they didn't win our mystery box contest. After all, who guesses that there's a 70" LCD TV in the box?

    Anyways, its good to be back. I was beginning to think Id have to print a new batch of T-Shirts that say HowardForum on them. Check back on Monday, well be giving away an iPhone 5!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: We're Baaaaack! started by howard View original post
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. pclover's Avatar
      pclover -
      Lol nice email from the scum bag.

      Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2
    1. Extraordinary's Avatar
      Extraordinary -
      You should go after the guy and sue. Theft is theft, plain and simple. He cost you money... from advertising to stress. Put him behind bars and get some cash out of the guy.
    1. AllanVS's Avatar
      AllanVS -
      Go after the slimy scum ball sleaze bag of a human being. "The important thing is I'm the owner of this domain at this moment and after few weeks I decided to sell this domain.
      And we both know I have this domain."

      Keep that particular email for his court trial.
    1. deal_aholic's Avatar
      deal_aholic -
      Well ... glad everything got sorted out at the end !
    1. baayers's Avatar
      baayers -
      Welcome back howardforums.com. It feels good to be home
    1. zapjb's Avatar
      zapjb -
      Nice! My Speed Dial looks normal again.
    1. Extraordinary's Avatar
      Extraordinary -
      "After all, who guesses that there's a 70" LCD TV in the box?"

      Are you trying to say that someone did guess there was a 70" TV and that is the person who stole your domain based on some IP stuff you have discovered??
    1. rcentros's Avatar
      rcentros -
      Congratulations on getting howardforums.com back. My apologies to GoDaddy, looks like they did work for you. Hope the thief gets some kind of punishment out of this.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Extraordinary View Post
      "After all, who guesses that there's a 70" LCD TV in the box?"

      Are you trying to say that someone did guess there was a 70" TV and that is the person who stole your domain based on some IP stuff you have discovered??
      no, I was just joking around.
    1. tcross8361's Avatar
      tcross8361 -
      This is crazy! I didn't even know this type of thing went on. So they basically hold the domain for ransom. Question, is our personal info at risk?

      Sent from my MOTWX435KT using Tapatalk 2
    1. silentjudge's Avatar
      silentjudge -
      Glad you got the domain back! What an ordeal.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Your personal information was never at risk. It's totally separate from our domain name.

      Quote Originally Posted by tcross8361 View Post
      This is crazy! I didn't even know this type of thing went on. So they basically hold the domain for ransom. Question, is our personal info at risk?

      Sent from my MOTWX435KT using Tapatalk 2
    1. iphoneblitz's Avatar
      iphoneblitz -
      My concern is that anyone got a virus from visiting howardforums.com during those 13 days?
      Initially I visit it and my firewall router program, which I didn't know existed, blocked me from going to howardforums.com saying this website has potiential risk. Stupid me, I ignore the warnings and still try to visit howardforums.com.
      Now I'm just afraid of some virus or malware installed on my computer or android phone.
    1. kaebee's Avatar
      kaebee -
      better go check with with GoDaddy, etc on setting up a SLA for future problems...
    1. silentjudge's Avatar
      silentjudge -
      Quote Originally Posted by kaebee View Post
      better go check with with GoDaddy, etc on setting up a SLA for future problems...
      There's no SLA for if your account is hacked into due to your own fault I'm afraid.

      Sent from my LG Nitro HD
    1. turbogeek's Avatar
      turbogeek -
      Ahh, so nice to have the app back! Hope that s'kiddie scumbag gets what they deserve someday.
    1. fredandbetty's Avatar
      fredandbetty -
      Quote Originally Posted by Extraordinary View Post
      You should go after the guy and sue. Theft is theft, plain and simple. He cost you money... from advertising to stress. Put him behind bars and get some cash out of the guy.
      Definately!

      It's good to be back!
    1. SenorDD's Avatar
      SenorDD -
      Since he was dumb enough to contact you directly, you should have tracked him down and charged him with theft and extortion
    1. proth3us's Avatar
      proth3us -
      im glad hofo is back
    1. baudbwoy's Avatar
      baudbwoy -
      nice to have it back. what I like was that you had a contingency plan, I noticed no real disruption in service...will still send people to this site.