Feeds

Man charged in $111k domain name theft

eBayed to basketball pro

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A New Jersey man has been charged with stealing the p2p.com domain name and selling it to a professional basketball player for more than $111,000 in the first US indictment for domain name theft.

In May 2006, Daniel Goncalves, now 25, of Union City, illegally accessed accounts of domain name registrar GoDaddy "for the purpose of altering registration information for 'p2p.com,' to fraudulently transfer registration of 'p2p.com from its lawful registrant," according to the indictment, which was filed by the New Jersey Attorney General's office.

Once in possession of the domain name, Goncalves allegedly auctioned it on eBay, where it was purchased for $111,211.11 by Mark Madsen, a basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who was unaware of the theft allegations. P2p.com was the name of a business owned by three entrepreneurs, who maintain that the domain name was worth from $160,000 to $200,000 because of its short length and topical relation to peer-to-peer file sharing.

The case is a throwback to earlier days when domain names such as business.com and sex.com regularly fetched seven-figure prices. The most famous of those cases is the saga of sex.com, which was registered by Match.com founder Gary Kremen and later transferred to Stephen M Cohen. Following lengthy court proceedings, Kremen regained control of the name.

In the process, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that domain name owners hold property rights.

The Attorney General's filing isn't clear about how Goncalves breached the GoDaddy account, but documents filed in US District Court in Newark in a private lawsuit may provide a clue. They claim Goncalves and a brother "developed a specialty hacking into AOL accounts and stealing user screen names" and "regularly participated in efforts to crack open the AOL accounts of others". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.