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ISP suffers apparent domain hijacking

Panix.com says it is working to recover its domain name and e-mail services after suffering an apparent hijacking.

A New York Internet service provider said Sunday it was working to recover its domain name and e-mail services after suffering an apparent hijacking.

A Panix.com representative said that ownership of the domain had been moved sometime Friday evening to a company in Australia, that the domain name server (DNS) records had been moved to the United Kingdom, and that the company's mail had been redirected to a company in Canada.

"We are pulling our hair out here," said the representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The company warned that most customers will either have no access to the Panix.com domain or will arrive at a false site. E-mail to the domain is being directed to the false site and "should be considered lost or compromised," the ISP said in its posting.

It is unclear how the domain could have been transferred without the consent of the owner, and the representative expressed frustration with the domain registrars.

"The registrars have not been as cooperative as common sense would dictate," the representative said.

As a temporary workaround, the company suggested using the Panix.net domain in place of the Panix.com domain. The company said that it was working around the clock to recover the domain, but warned that this may not happen until Monday due to time zone differences.

In September, German police said a teenager had admitted to hijacking the domain of the eBay Germany Web site. The domain hijack attack happened at the end of August when visitors to the eBay.de site were redirected to a different DNS, meaning that they could not access auctions.

Panix.com, which was founded in 1989, provides Internet access and e-mail services to New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland County and New Jersey.