Marketo.com which is a very large marketing service had its domain expire. The Network Solutions registered domain held an expiration date of July 23, 2017 according to whois records. That day was reached and by July 25, 2017 name servers changed to PendingRenewalOrDeletion.com, standard practice for expired Network Solutions registered domains. That name server change is often what gets domain owners attention after failed email notifications of the pending expiration, well, because the website stops resolving, email stops working etc.
I’d bet the credit card on file for Marketo was expired and the reason an “auto renew” didn’t take place. Where the renewal emails went, potentially spam.
Now the crazy part of this story is, Travis Prebble, a self described geek, who is not associated with, nor did he have access to the Marketo.com domain name or account, RENEWED the domain! What? Travis stated he logged into Network Solutions, typing in the domain name and renewed it. He paid $73.98 to do so. $37.99 for the renewal and $35.99 for a “Reinstatement Fee” because the domain was past its renewal date.
— Travis Prebble (@TravisPrebble) July 25, 2017
Yes, somebody with no actual access to the domain name renewed it! Wait a minute, What? That just seems crazy to me.
Based on a link on Network Solutions, called Renew Services: https://www.networksolutions.com/manage-it/bulk-renewal.jsp I typed in a known expired domain into the Renew Your Domain box that allows up to 200 domains and clicked Get Started. It prompts you to login and displays the domain you typed in and its expiration date or status.
So I logged in and had to click Quick Renew and re-enter the domain again, but then the following:
So I clicked the Renew button and:
I could renew Sovy.com by clicking the Secure Checkout button, a domain that is currently expired and on expired auction via NameJet. I do not own, nor am I associated with this domain in any way. Not my domain name. I tried again, with a different domain, also a known expired domain, Miho.com also on NameJet and not my domain name:
I could renew that domain as well… Different account number.
I could do some damage with this information and in no way should “anybody” be able to renew somebody’s domain name, nor be allowed to see the account number associated with the domain etc. Very troubling.
If I renewed Sovy.com and Mibo.com for an example, NameJet/Web.com/Tucows would be out $10’s of thousands of dollars that they likely would get for selling the expired domains on NameJet. My $147.96 would prevent that from happening for an example. It wouldn’t do me any good, as I wouldn’t “own the domains” but it would prevent them, at least for 1 year from doing it.
To note, I didn’t research what can be done with an “account number” at NSI but I’m sure one can do more with it, than without it.
Hat tip to CraftNames.com for the tip via Twitter.