Domain Name Hijacking Law and Legal Definition

Domain name hijacking or domain theft is the process by which registration of a currently registered domain name is transferred without the permission of its original registrant. It is usually done by exploiting vulnerability in the domain name registration system. Generally, domain names expire after a fixed period of time and become available to the public. If the original owner allows them to expire even momentarily, they may be immediately purchased by another party. The new purchaser is not considered liable in this scenario and the original owner has no recourse.

A domain name hijacker is one who purchases one or many domain names, and attempts to sell them to the highest bidder. A domain hijacker purchases the domain name with no business purpose in mind other than to sell it to the trademark owner or keep it from the hijacker's competitor. A domain hijacker acquires personal information about the actual domain owner to impersonate them and persuade the domain registrar to modify the registration information and transfer the domain to another registrar. This is a form of identity theft. After this the hijacker has full control of the domain and can use it or sell it to a third party.