Network Solutions and ICANN—Will Others Follow?
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is an organization that catalogs who is registered to which domain. They perform maintenance on the Domain Name System (DNS) root zone registries. When you enter a domain name such as Syscon-inc.com for example, DNS root zone registries route the request to the right domain, the address for the specific computer you’re trying to talk with.
When registering a domain name, the domain owner’s name, address, phone number, and technical contact are required. From time to time the registrar, the company the domain name was purchased through, will ask to verify the owner’s info. This has always been a fairly simple process; you review the information via email to see if it is correct. If changes are needed. Just reply with the information. Responding that there’s no change has never been mandatory. The ‘check in’ email has typically been seen as a courtesy, a good neighborly habit to keep things in order. The ICANN system is a separate body, not affiliated with the registrar. For more info, check out www.icann.org.
Recently one of the registrars, Network Solutions, decided to start enforcing ICANN review requests by suspending a domain if the contact/owner on record did not respond to an ICANN request. We’re not even sure if they have the authority to do this, but one of our clients was shut down for over a day by Network Solutions. It’s so unusual it took us a while to figure out what was happening! Everything was in place, updated, correct, but no email was flowing and there was no access to anything related to their domain. After a couple of hours on the phone with Network Solutions, they admitted they had shut it down as a result of no confirmation response to the verification email request—unheard of! They said it would be 24 hours until the domain was back up. That meant no email for our client, no website available if anyone was checking. Our client couldn’t believe it and we had never heard of such an action taking place. From our perspective, they interrupted this company’s ability to do business without any notice or interaction and no warning that a lack of response would result in the shutdown.
The next morning it was still down, so Mike got on with Network Solutions again and was told it would be another 4 hours or more. Mike wouldn’t hang up and said he would sit on the phone, continue to ask for the next level of manager, and stay on with them until the domain was back up. What do you know? Within an hour, it was back up. What a nightmare!
Lesson 1: If you receive a request to confirm your domain ownership information, respond!
Lesson 2: If you have Network Solutions as your domain registrar, consider moving to a different provider! No company can afford to be in this situation.
We are so distressed that our client had to endure this situation. Be forewarned—if this can happen through Network Solutions, will other registrars follow suit?—CMW
Network Solutions—Back on our ‘Naughty’ List
We have a client story to share: They called because they noticed they weren’t receiving any inbound email, and when they checked, their outbound email wasn’t being received by the recipient.
The techs dug in and noticed that all email flow reports were showing the messages as delivered, and outbound as having been sent; odd. Digging in a little further, turns out 90% of all inbound messages were being marked as High Probability Phishing and were automatically moved to the quarantine folder, which is why they couldn’t see them.
When the techs checked the message headers on the ‘spam’ email, the DKIM signatures were missing from the email headers even though DKIM was configured for the client’s domain.
Since DKIM is enabled and configured through DNS (Domain Name System), the issue had to lie within the DNS servers, which are hosted by Network Solutions for this client!
This isn’t our first DNS problem with Network Solutions (see above!) so we weren’t going to play around. The techs migrated DNS to Cloudflare which resolved the DKIM signature issue within 10 minutes!