With more than million searches each day NowTorrents is one of the larger torrent search engines on the Internet. The site has grown steadily during recent months, and everything was looking great until a few hours ago, when the owner lost its domain. The domain was hijacked and parked on an account at the popular registrar GoDaddy.
With a few million visitors a month most of the larger torrent sites make lucrative targets for scammers and hackers wanting to cash in on these traffic magnets.
In November 2008, someone used a forged CA driver’s license to take over Torrentz.com, and put some of his own ads on the site. Luckily, the hijack took less than a day to bring to an end and things were back to normal before most users even noticed that something was wrong. But Torrentz is not the only torrent site to interest hackers.
NowTorrents, a torrent meta-search engine that recently acquired a spot among the 10 most visited torrent sites on the Internet, is facing a similar problem. This morning, the admin of the site noticed that he was no longer in control of the domain name as it was transferred to a new registrar, GoDaddy.
Coincidentally, the admin also had two of his email accounts hacked, which could very well be the cause of the domain troubles. He told TorrentFreak that he is doing all he can to resolve the issues. Google has reinstated one of his email accounts after some emails back and forth.
GoDaddy, where the domain was transferred after it was hijacked, is currently looking into the case. It can usually take up to a week before the domain gets transferred back to the rightful owner, the admin said. However, by putting in some calls to a supervisor at GoDaddy he hoped to speed up this process a little.
How the ‘hacker’ gained access to the domains remains a mystery for now. The email password was secure and not really guessable, and all signs currently point to a keylogger. It wouldn’t be the first time that this has happened to an admin of a torrent site.
Nevertheless, the admin of NowTorrents is confident that he will soon regain access to his site. Meanwhile its users will have to be patient and look for alternatives until the site comes back.
Update: the site is coming back slowly, waiting for the DNS to propagate.