More domain thefts reported this year than in previous years. Partly this is attributable to the increase in total numbers of registered domain names, and partly to the decreasing stigma associated with reporting thefts by registrants.

No, pigs are not flying yet, and registrars are not keeping track of and disclosing incidents of domain registrants reporting thefts. They won’t until ICANN requires them to, which will be right after pigs collectively begin to fly.

Every once in a while I write about this topic, but it always reads the same. ICANN turns a blind eye, and registrars make no public comments. They usually deserve public shaming, for practices like sending out yearly WHOIS compliance notices as emails containing links to click on, along with veiled threats of forfeiture for not adhering to ICANN policy by having current and accurate contact information publicly listed.

Registrars train registrants to click links in email, probably the single worst Internet behavior there is. One of the obvious dangers of this behavior is becoming victim to phishing attacks. These are attacks where user credentials are often stolen, in some cases leading directly to domain thefts via compromised gmail/hotmail/ymail/etc. accounts.

So the details of this particular instance are that more 4-letter domain names were hijacked and transferred to Chinese registrars. Same as it ever was. This particular blog reports this same story on a regular basis. Keep in mind reported thefts are relatively rare, as stolen domain names are (counter-intuitively) notoriously difficult to recover.

To read a simple to grok explanation of how to solve this long-standing but underreported issue, just give this post of mine explaining the rationale for blockchain-based systems a read.