They Hacked my Domain

and I ain’t even mad about it

About a year ago, I bought a rather bland domain to use for a division of the company I work for that builds websites. The domain really didn’t matter, as it would just be a staging location for sites in development.

I purchased the domain (let’s say abcwidgets.com), pointed the nameservers over to my host (Digital Ocean), and then never got around to developing anything on the domain. So it sat. For a year.

Fast forward to today. I needed a dummy domain to test something out on, so I went and visited abcwidgets.com to see if I had put it to use (I couldn’t remember). To my disappointment there was a site there, but not one that I had built. I thought to myself that I must have only registered the domain for a year, it had expired, and this company had taken over. No big deal.

Clean and Simple, but not a site I built

I next logged in to Namecheap to scan other domains I had to see what I could use, and much to my surprise there was this domain, still in my ownership through 2018. I still owned the domain.

But I didn’t build the site.

I pinged the URL, it didn’t return an IP address I was in control over.

I logged in to my Digital Ocean account and went to add the domain to my account so I could point it at one of my servers, and was given an error “This domain already exists in our system”.

SO, if I’m understanding this right, these clever people noticed that I had pointed my domain at Digital Ocean but hadn’t associated it with my account, so they created an account and associated with theirs. They’re paying for the hosting, but mooching my domain.

So bizarre. So very bizarre.

So now, since it’s already claimed in Digital Ocean I’ll have to take up a support ticket to maybe get that sorted out, but at least I can update the nameservers and point the A record to my droplet and reclaim my domain.

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