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Third-level Domain Name Hijacking

Alex Tajirian
November 26, 2004

A new type of domain-name hijacking is being carried out unnoticed. It involves third-level domain-names associated with affiliate programs.

If you had been an online affiliate of, say, company, your affiliate Internet address could have looked like If you or terminates the relationship, might decide to assign your affiliate address to a new entity that has no relationship to you or YourCompanyName. The new entity would use YourCompanyName to exploit its intrinsic value.

The assignment of your affiliate third-level domain name to another company creates two sources of value loss to you. The first is through lost traffic from and the second is a result of the infringement on your company’s brand name.

In such situations, there are two levels of initiatives that you can take to protect your brand name. First find out whether such an infringement is underway and the second is a proactive measure to monitor and limit damages from such violations. If you are already a victim:

  1. You should first ask to immediately deactivate the third-level domain name, or to restore your affiliate link.
  2. Contact the entity infringing on your intellectual property and ask them to cease using your name in any affiliate programs.
  3. Contact us to assist you with (1) and (2) above. We are considering making public the names of such violators.

As for proactive protection, we have developed a service to monitor and notify you when infringements take place.

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