Mass Name Jacking Found in .PK Domains

Name jacking at huge level has been found among the top domain names of Pakistan.

Earlier Dawn News reported that HEC’s website www.hec.gov.pk is being name jacked to www.hec.edu.pk. But research shows that the story does not end here – in fact the scale is massive and numbers of name jacking instances are high for .PK domains.

Seems like person behind all this has invested a huge amount of money, registering almost all popular domain names with .com.pk .org.pk and .edu.pk

Popular domain names with their who is record are:

  • hec.org.pk – Kashif Jamal, Karachi, Pakistan
  • hec.edu.pk – Fayyaz Mubashir, Karachi, Pakistan
  • ku.edu.pk – Abdul Rehman, Karachi, Pakistan
  • pia.com.pk – Pakistan Internet Association, London
  • unitedmobiles.com.pk – Qunain Abbass, Karachi, Pakistan
  • meezanbank.com.pk – Meezan Bank IT Manager, Karachi, Pakistan
  • jung.com.pk – Muhammad Yasir – Sargodha, Pakistan
  • warid.com.pk – Abdul Ghafoor, Karachi, Pakistan
  • urdupoint.com.pk – Muhammad Ali, Karachi, Pakistan
  • dailyislam.com.pk – Abdul Rehman, Karachi, Pakistan

Complete list of the domains and sub-domains being name jacked can be found here.

Surely all these (domain owners’ names) are fake and just used to register the domains, while server stats show that all these websites are hosted on the same server with IP adress 75.125.2.100.

Websites are found to be hosted with ThePlanet.com (Now a part of Softlayer.com, acquired in Last November).

It merits mentioning here that .com.pk domains can easily be registered with PKNIC but the point to ponder is, .edu.pk domains can only be allotted to some organization which in fact have some degree awarding program. Moreover, before going online domain has to pass through certain verification procedures, which in above mentioned cases were simply ruled out or it really went online after verification?

The sole purpose behind all this  is to earn money, obviously. But how? Yes you can easily get huge traffic by using some famous domain name which is already up in the market. People may mistakenly land on the wrong page, leaving you with a web hit and the story goes on.

Not only this, people usually register such domain names with an instinct to sell domains to the original product owners at inflated price, the term named as Cybersquatting.

Seems like either these brand names owners are unaware of the issue and PKNIC is least interested in doing proper verification before registering domain names like this. A proper law without an implementation is apparently the law now.

Concerned authorities have already been notified about the issue and the response and action is awaited.

Will name jacking like this be allowed as it is basic right of a person to register any domain name that is available? Or there must be some rule prohibiting individuals or organizations to use the previously registered trademark in their domain name?

If so, whose responsibility is to control such issues? Either the brand owners should be aware enough to take legal actions about such issues or PKNIC should be bound to keep these trademarks to their respective owners only? Where FIA and NR3C stands?

Leaving these questions unanswered to have public opinion, comments are welcomed.


  • Shah

    I don’t think it is illegal.

    Cricinfo.com is of the top cricket sites and when you type .net instead of .com mistakenly, you end up in a totally different world.

  • If the domain owners not misleading the name of brand then there is no issue in it but when using the brand as competitor can make issues for him

  • Ajmal Abbasi

    This is really alarming and I hope there are proper laws about such cyber crimes. Deceiving thousands of visitors with fake replicas isn’t something tolerable and strict action should be taken against such e-criminals.

  • yes pakistan gov should take action

  • Billy Shaun

    As long as there is no Trademark over the name anyone willing to spend money on registering the name is entitled to it.

    Educational domains are to be verified and only registered to institutes (not necessarily degree awarding, they can be informational only).

    Same goes for the Governmental domains as well.

    • Shahid Saleem

      Best reply. Trademark is a must, if you look at PKNIC policies

      4. If a party claims that a domain name already registered with PKNIC violates their registered tradename, an obvious derivation of their registered company name, is not bona fide as recognized by international best practice, is a contravention in the opinion of PKNIC to be a contravention of the latest version of the Pakistan Penal Code Act, 1860 (including offences of defamation & blasphemy)/ Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997/any applicable criminal law, PKNIC reserves the right to cancel, or transfer the domain to the claiming party as per the ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (with PKNIC amendments) or as per the orders of a court judgment in Pakistan.

      First of all if no one complains they will do nothing. The original people need to complain first.

  • pro desi

    why in the world we want gov. to get involved in everything? this happens allover the world…some very poplar names in the US can take you to very bad sites…yes I agree if the content is fake/misleading or violation of the trade mark then that should be a police case

  • UnkNoWn

    all of this due to adsense..

    infact some 4 years back i was planning to register a domain gmal.com since gmail.com has million of user and 0.1 % may type gmal.com instead of gmail , create the propbablity of 100K direct user to my webpage. there i have planned to create a landing page to original site gmail.com but some ads on my gmail.com page as well..

    All of this due to $$$$

  • In my opinion this is not illegal at all. Why don’t you take all this to this single word :”Domain monetization”.

  • Lol, this is almost nothing, this is a tip of an Iceberg, there are handful of individuals with thousands of premium domains on their disposals,w hich are doing nothing but eating dust. There is even an Indian company, which has more than 200 premium .pk domains, and few Hosting providers like hostndomain own hundreds and hundreds of such domains.

    PKnic is apparently involved in allocating thousands of domains wrongfully, staff at Pknic is after all Pakistani! Even one of my domain registration detail was changed by Pknic.

  • K. Shahzad

    Well its responsibility of those organizations too, if some bank is getting a website with .com domain, its better to take its .net version along with other possible postfixes to prevent ending up someone else getting similar name and redirect them to one main domain.

    These domains themselves cost few bucks but can really bring you lots of other traffic that would have landed somewhere else.

    Otherwise people are web traffic hungry and that is how it works, few will leave an opportunity for ethics.

  • I have several clients who asked me to register .org.pk and .edu.pk domain names, I asked them for their documentations etc on their own but frankly, PKNIC never did. All they care about is, if the invoice is paid.

    Shame on PKNIC!

  • iMake.pk

    Even if they do so, it would not matter, as having mulitple domains are hard to manage at one point, unless you have a team to take care of it. Also, there should be no problem with the term called “NameJacking” because the internet is a space where you purchase your property. Whoever, gets it first becomes the owner. The logic is simple.

  • Umar Saeed

    It is completely LEGAL. Protecting names is the responsibility of the organizations and the business owners. Everyone is allowed to register a domain name that is available. For Instance http://www.urdupoint.com is a famous website with decent Google searches and the domain name http://www.urdupoint.pk was available and one of my friend has registered it.