Start-up picks new Web address after hijacking

After concluding the dispute resolution process is too slow and expensive, Lissn has moved to a new Internet domain after its old one was hijacked.

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Stephen Shankland
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Lissn logo

Lissn, a start-up focusing on online conversations, has picked up and moved to a new Web address after having its own hijacked last week.

Lissn had been hosted at Lissn.com, but now is located at Lissn.in, chief executive Myke Armstrong said in a blog post today.

"We have contacted the authorities and proper parties to get the domain back, but the legal process of reclaiming a domain name can take months and thousands of dollars," he said. That's "too much time and too much money for a learn startup where momentum is key. In the spirit of lean startups and quick moves, we have simply moved Lissn to Lissn.in."

He said the old site is now hosted on a server in the Netherlands. "The hackers kept our homepage, but added the message 'Lissn is currently down for maintenance, sorry for any inconvenience.'" The site displayed that still this morning, though links on the page were broken.

"No user data nor proprietary software was compromised," he later added. "We are unsure exactly how they were able to access registrar account, except through an e-mail address."

Armstrong likened the situation to the Wild West.

"Like with newly discovered territories before, comes a certain element of lawlessness. It's natural and is generally ignored, until it happens right on your doorstep," Armstrong said. But, he added, "My personal philosophy is that legal battles and revenge are a distraction...With our new domain we are able to continue right where we left off with our backs to the past."

And he even found a silver lining--a new brand. "Lissn in on conversations that interest you. Lissn in! It doesn't have a bad ring to it, huh? Perhaps a little forced rebranding isn't so bad, albeit unorthodoxly," he said.

Lissn bills itself as a site "for public, real-time discussions and events."

Updated at 2:05 p.m. PT with additional comment from Armstrong noting that no user data nor proprietary software was compromised.