During the weekend, Net hijackers "spoofed," or forged, Connecticut-based Internet.com's domain name and transferred ownership of the name to an individual, the company said.
The hijackers who spoofed the site took Internet.com's administrative contact information from Net name registrar Network Solutions' (NSI) database and then changed and redirected it to another registrar. Neither NSI nor Internet.com had determined how the hijackers gained access to the information.
"It's a pain in the neck," said Internet.com CEO Alan Meckler. "This has serious ramifications."
Domain name hijacking is not uncommon. In April, hackers stole charity network Web.net's domain name and made changes to NSI's database to transfer ownership of the name to another individual.
Although the Internet.com hijacking is under investigation, Meckler said an employee caught the problem before crucial changes were made to the site. NSI is taking steps to prevent possible lost traffic to the Web site, he said.
"The domain is still functional," said NSI spokesman Brian O'Shaughnessy. "But if one did a search of who the owner is, it's not delegated to the proper person or Web site."
O'Shaughnessy said that because the hijacker transferred the name to Tucows--another Net name registrar--the process of reassigning the domain name to its original owner has to be worked out with the other company.
Meckler said that the transfer process involves a lot of paperwork, but because the name change was fraudulent, the process is being sped up.