Domain Hijacking

What Does Domain Hijacking Mean?

Domain hijacking is broadly defined as an attempt to transfer ownership or control of a domain from its rightful owner. Domain hijacking often involves a fraudulent registrar transfer request or otherwise false change the registration of a domain. This sort of activity often harms the legitimate domain owner.

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Techopedia Explains Domain Hijacking

Domain hijacking can also be called a false cybersquatting claim. With domain hijacking, a hijacker is often seeking to use a domain for his or her own purposes. This includes elaborate phishing practices, where hijackers will construct websites that trick users into thinking they are on the site of a trusted brand or other party. Hijackers can then program these sites to collect data about visitors.

One significant trend in domain hijacking is related to trademarking and the Web. With domain hijacking, those who wrongly or falsely acquire domains may be taking domains that specifically associate with a brand or trademark. A similar practice called reverse domain hijacking occurs when a trademark holder tries to strong-arm other domain holders. In simple domain hijacking, it is more often a rogue actor collecting domains that may relate to a trademark or brand.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.