Bizarre hacking incident comes to a happy conclusion
Naoki Hiroshima, original owner of the @N handle on Twitter, claims he routinely fielded offers for his coveted username, including one that was as high as $50,000. People have also tried to steal the rare username from him, though those attempts were unsuccessful until a hacker applied some social engineering skills to ultimately force him to hand it over. It's a bizarre story that involves ineptitude on the part of both GoDaddy and PayPal, though there's a happy ending -- Hiroshima has his username back.
GoDaddy, the largest ICANN-accredited registrar on the planet, claims it wasn't a hacker that disrupted service for millions of customers, just incompetence. The registrar didn't actually use that word, but it did deny reports that an Anonymous-affiliated hacker attack or distributed denial of service (DDoS) were to blame. To make up for the SNAFU, GoDaddy has been sending out emails to its customers to let them know they'll be credited for a month of service for each active/published site.
As if Mondays aren't challenging enough to get through as it is, many of the websites belonging to GoDaddy's 10.5 million customers were unplugged yesterday afternoon following a hacker attack. A day later, GoDaddy is still working to completely restore service across the board. Twitter user @AnonymousOwn3r took responsibility for the attack, and interestingly enough, Anonymous is trying to distance itself from the rogue hacker.
A couple of months have passed since the SOPA/PIPA uproar, and things on the online rights front have simmered down quite a bit, for the most part -- Megaupload and related happenings aside. One organization hasn't forgotten the promises it made in the heat of the moment, however: the Wikimedia Foundation. If you remember, Jimmy Wales said Wikipedia would transition away from GoDaddy's services because of the registrar's support for the controversial bill. That transition is currently underway, Wikimedia revealed in a blog post Wednesday.
Domain registrar GoDaddy may have dropped its official support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but this ugly chapter is far from over. According to competing registrar Namecheap, GoDaddy is doing all it can to hamper the flow of domains away from its service. Namecheap claims that GoDaddy’s actions violate ICANN rules, but is promising to work with potential customers to get their domains moved.
Anybody who knows anything about tech knows that the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act sucks and would break the Internet, to put it in a nutshell. That’s why so many geeks find Go Daddy’s support for the act …disappointing (to say the least). We told you yesterday that Go Daddy was facing a boycott slash mass exodus from irate techies for the company’s vocal SOPA support, and apparently, the prospect of losing tons of domain registrations makes businessmen reconsider their political positions quickly. Today, Go Daddy announced it was withdrawing its support for SOPA.
As the U.S. House pledges to continue pushing for the passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) next year, companies supporting the legislation are increasingly coming under fire. Old media like the movie and TV industries are obviously in favor of it, but most tech firms are opposed. One internet heavyweight that is in favor of SOPA is domain registrar GoDaddy. Now that everyone has caught wind of that, many are proposing a "Move Your Domain Away From GoDaddy Day."
Reports from all over the Web are saying the GoDaddy.com just changed hands for billions of dollars. According to GoDaddy's official statement, however, this isn't a sale, but a "strategic investment" and partnership with KKR, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures, a trio of investment firms.
Back in September, The Wall Street Journal reported that the world’s premier domain registrar GoDaddy had put itself on the block. The paper seems to enjoy a monopoly over news relating to the possible sale of the privately held domain registrar and web hosting company. It is now reporting that the GoDaddy Group is on the verge of being acquired for as much as a whopping $2.5 billion.
Go Daddy's Super Bowl commercials might get a little more sultry, if you can imagine that. The spunky Internet domain registrar and Web hosting company is already known for running ads that, as Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons describes them, are "fun, edgy, and a bit inappropriate," and it will be even tougher to walk the line of what can and can't be televised when the company becomes one of the first to start offering .XXX domain name extensions.