KSRegistry has been appointed the new registry operator for Grenada’s ccTLD after bad management at the previous operator led to the whole TLD being hijacked.
But the fate of two other hijacked ccTLDs — .tc and .vg — appears to be less certain, with significant confusion over who’s in charge at both.
One of them, at least, may still be “hijacked”.
But KSRegistry, part of the KeyDrive group, said today that it took over the technical management of .gd from AdamsNames (Amaryllis Investments Ltd) on May 1.
While a press release describes the change as a “redelegation” by ICANN’s IANA function, in fact it’s just a change of technical contact in the IANA database.
Grenada’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission remains the official, delegated manager of the TLD.
The hasty switch-over follows the alleged wholesale hijacking of the ccTLD by a disgruntled former employee of AdamsNames, who temporarily relocated it from the UK to Turkey.
The TLD, along with .tc and .vg, went AWOL in March after one Ertan Ulutas apparently took over the domain AdamsNames.net, the web site which was used by registrants to manage their names.
For a couple of weeks the site remained in the hands of the alleged hijacker, and all the while the AdamsNames.net site presented itself as the official registry manager.
KSRegistry was at the time the appointed back-end provider, appointed last year, for AdamsNames.
Due to the period of confusion, KSRegistry said today that the integrity of registration data in .gd may have been compromised, and that the zone will be “frozen” until May 21.
KSRegistry said in a statement:
While the .GD zone is frozen, no registrations, modifications, transfers, deletions or renewals can be made until the zone file has been fully reviewed and confirmed as valid and complete. Expired domains which are still in the zone can explicit be set to be either deleted or renewed prior to the reactivation of automated domain deletion function on May 21. Contact and nameserver updates can be done by each registrar for the domain names in its portfolio once the ServerUpdateProhibited status is removed. The NTRC and the KSregistry GmbH intend to resolve the discrepancies in the registration data with the .GD accredited registrars until May 21, 2013.
Getting rid of AdamsNames seems like a smart move by Grenada.
While AdamsNames has not been accused of any wrongdoing, allowing its TLDs to get hijacked, putting many thousands of domains at risk, certainly smacks of incompetence.
And the current status of .tc and .vg is unclear enough that I’d advise extreme caution when doing business with either TLD until further notice.
According to IANA records, .vg (British Virgin Islands) still has AdamsNames listed as the technical manager, but there have been significant, dodgy-looking changes at .tc recently.
Notably, references to AdamsNames as technical contact and official registration site for the ccTLD have been removed and replaced with those for a couple of new companies.
TLD AS (based in Turkey) and Meridian TLD (based in the British Virgin Islands) have been named as technical contact and registration site for .tc respectively.
Also, a name server for .tc that was operated by RIPE (a respectable organization), was also removed and replaced with one from zone.tc, a domain controlled by Meridian TLD, in early April.
All the name servers for .tc, and all but one of the name servers for .vg, are now on domains controlled by Meridian.
On the face of it, it looks almost legit. Meridian’s web site even states that its representatives were at the ICANN meeting in Beijing a month ago.
But according to AdamsNames, Meridian is actually run by Ulutas (the alleged hijacker) and at least two other people, and the two other people showed up in Beijing pretending to represent AdamsNames.
AdamsNames said on its web site:
We have to state frank and clear that neither Ayse Ergen nor her companion are authorised to represent or to act on behalf of AdamsNames Limited. By posing as employees of AdamsNames, the group of criminals around Ertan Ulutas, newly also known as “Meridian TLD Corp.”, continues its efforts to hijack the business of AdamsNames (run since 1999) by underhand means.
ICANN/IANA, according to AdamsNames, was aware of its complaints about Meridian from late March, which was before it made the changes that gave Meridian effective control over .tc.
Right now, it looks disturbingly like the alleged “hijacker” has actually managed to not only take over operations for at least one entire ccTLD but also to make it official.