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.