Some random visitors may have noticed the site was deactivated by the ICANN the past day or so. This was a result of my WhoIs information being hopelessly outdated, and the ICANN contacting a long-defunct email address for verification of ownership.
As I panicked, trying to get the domain reactivated, some facts dawned on me:
1. I have actually owned this domain for 11 years and 10 days. This blog incarnation has been up since sometime in 2008, those ancient times when dinosaurs surfed the information superhighway. Scary.
2. My contact information with the WhoIs database was current only from 2003 until not so long after that. I used to use a popular webmail then, but abandoned that shortly after I got my own domain. Still, that old address was the ICANN’s only contact to me, and I didn’t receive their requests for verification. Lesson learned, always set up a forwarding address! But it gets scarier:
3. After frantically contacting my current server provider for help and, in turn, the one I originally registered the domain with, I eventually realised I might try to recover the old email address and find my activation mail there. No such luck, it had been canceled due to inactivity — but I could sure as hell register it anew. Problem solved, except… Hang on, my old email was up for grabs?! That might be the only way for somebody to get in tough with me. Like, say, an Internet entity with the authority to shut off my site from you lot. Told you it was scary.
So, this is pure speculation, fortunately my domain isn’t terribly attractive to anybody but myself + immediate family, but imagine a Bad Guy coming across this site while the domain was deactivated. If I could backtrack and find out how to fix this, anybody could’ve gotten to that canceled mail address before me — because not only am I as dumb as they come online, I’m also slow (for the sake of argument, anyway). I wonder how far one could go in assuming someone else’s online identity this way, just by highjacking a defunct email address? Hint: not nearly far enough for anybody to go to that kind of trouble…