Panix.com domain hijacked

Panix.com, the main domain name of New York Internet provider Public Access Networks, was apparently hijacked over the weekend, leaving customers of the company without e-mail and Web access for a day and a half.

Unknown parties managed to wrest the Panix.com domain away from the company between early morning Saturday and late Sunday, when the domain was returned to Panix, according to a statement on Panix.com. The company accused the hijackers of "multiple felonies" in violation of U.S. and other laws.

The site's registration was moved to a company in Australia, while the DNS records were moved to a company apparently based in the U.K., the company said. Panix.com's mail was redirected to a server in Canada. Panix officials were unable to contact the companies involved over the weekend because the companies did not have support or emergency numbers listed, Panix said.

"None of the systems exploited to perform this hijacking were under Panix's control," the company said on its Web site. "It's not supposed to be possible to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another without notifying both the current registrar and the current domain owner, and yet it happened anyway."

Panix.com officials expected some problems to persist until Monday evening in the U.S. The company directed customers to use the Panix.net Web site and e-mail domain if they experienced problems Monday.

Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and at least three other countries are working on the case, Panix added. Company officials did not immediately return a phone and an e-mail message Monday.

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