InterNIC Weekend Outage?

Ehud Gavron GAVRON at ACES.COM
Thu Mar 4 22:12:41 UTC 1999

I suppose I can share parts of a story.  I went to use a legacy /16
we had only to see in-addrs fail.  Checking the Internic/Arin registry
showed no entry.  

Upon contacting the NIC I was told "Prove it's yours."  I said
"you're the guys with the database, and WHOIS isn't showing it,
put it back and I'll prove it's mine."

Feel free to find 128.65.0/16 anywhere.  Let me know who you think
it belongs to.


>At 08:46 AM 3/4/1999 -0800, "Gregory A. Carter" <omni at> wrote:
>>Have a guy that had this emailed from his ISP.  If this is in fact true we
>>all could have some very unhappy customers in the comming days.  I haven't
>>personally experienced any troubles yet form any customers but I plan to
>>keep an eye out.  I'd also be interested to see if anyone else can confirm
>>this report or has further details.
>> Over the weekend the Internic, the registry
>> that handles all .com, .org, and .net domain names, had a
>> power outage. Allegedly, their backup generators actually
>> made the situation worse, computers crashed, and data was
>> lost. They won't officially admit to it, but word from
>> some of the bigger ISPs is that approximately 18,000
>> domains were inadvertantly deleted. It seems to have
>> mostly effected domains that were coming due for renewal
>> in March. IF you have a domain name hosted with us, please
>> check to make sure it
>> is still registered. If you have any questions, just reply
>> to this email.

>This is partly true, but I am sure it had nothing to do with a power
>outage. InterNIC did, indeed, drop over 18,000 domain names on the night of
>Sunday February 28.  This affected at least 3 names controlled by my
>organization, all of which were due for renewal during the month of March.
>I am aware of one other ISP who lost 220 names at the same time.  I believe
>most, if not all, of those names were likewise due for renewal during March.

>NSI is not admitting much, as is to be expected.  But I can tell you that
>they did an emergency root server update at my insistance late Monday
>night, just as they had done a while back after they messed up AOL.COM.
>But they even screwed that up by putting in erroneous information for the
>domain servers associated with at least one of my domain names.

>Note that these involve domains that were paid in full to some date in
>March and would be coming due for renewal during the month, but were
>instead dropped even before their renewal date.  Contractually we have 30
>days from the due date to make payment.  Only after that date should
>InterNIC have the right to terminate a domain, and that should only take
>place after a reasonable grace period of being "on-hold."

>Again.  This involves domains that were paid in full, and inspite of that
>fact InterNIC removed the domains in clear violation of their "contract."
>Their attitude toward most of those involved is one of, "Tough sh*t!"
>without even caring that they are in the wrong or that they are destroying
>people's lives and businesses.

>That isn't earth-shattering news, as they have maintained such an attitude
>for years.  What is news is the fact that they seem to be deliberately
>embarking on a new campaign of extortion to the benefit of their new
> domain registration "service."  As you may know they will soon
>lose their monopoly as other companies are going to be involved in
>maintaining the domain name registry.  Gearing up for that eventuallity,
>NSI has started registering names under their new domain at
>Apparently they are trying to move some of the larger consumers of domain
>names to their new service, and at the same time they are raising the

>If you've been in this business very long you will recall that when we
>first started having to pay for domain names it was $100 for the first 2
>years.  Then it dropped to $70.  Do you know why?  It is my understanding
>that the extra $15 was supposed to be saved in an 'Intellectual
>Infrastructure' account, pursuant to NSI's agreement with the National
>Science Foundation when it took over from NSF the domain name registry.
>That never happened, and at one point there was talk of NSI having to issue
>refunds of all the overpayments.  That never happened either.  The point
>is, we now pay $70 for the first 2 years and $35 annually thereafter.

>Now check out and notice that Network Solutions is
>raising the price to $119 per domain name.    Now we have a choice.  We can
>register a name through Network Solutions at for $70, or we
>can register a name through Network Solutions at for $119.00.
>Now there's one very creative way to break up a monopoly. Can you spell R I
>P - O F F ?

>One victim of this scam was told yesterday, by someone at,
>that she would have to go to <> to
>re-register the 220 domains that had been improperly terminated.  The
>domains in question had already been paid for, with renewals coming due
>sometime in March.  Examine the economics there.  220 domain renewals at
>$35 is $7700.  Compare that with having to start over with new 2 year
>registrations at $119 each.  That's $26,180, a rip-off of $18,480.   The
>Internet has long been called the Information Super-Highway, and now NSI
>has learned the art of HIGHWAY ROBBERY.

>Hard to believe?  Well, it should be hard to believe that they could even
>conceive this scam, much less get away with it.  But this is what really
>happened this week since last Sunday.

>I've also been told that another 7,000 domain names were dropped Monday
>night, bringing the total to 25,000 domains.  Multiply that by $119 and you
>can clearly understand NSI's motivation.  That amounts to close to
>$3,000,000.  Three million reasons for InterNIC to screw with your domains.
> And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  If they are not stopped, this
>could start to run into some "real money."

>You could be their next victim if something is not done immediately to stop
>this practice.

>In the meantime NSI denies any financial responsibility for their errors.
>Contractually their liability is supposedly limited to $500 per domain
>name, but try to get it from them.  I called to demand compensation and got
>the expected run around, only to be told flatly that there was nothing I
>could do about it.  We'll see about that.

>At the very least their scam has been exposed for what it is.  Perhaps that
>will end the practice.  Yet, somehow I am not so gullible as to believe
>that they won't continue the scam in some form.

>More information on the matter can be found at
>,1087,3_75171,00.html and you
>might want to contact Gilinda Rogers <me at>, the victim with the
>220 names.  The last I had heard from her, two of the names that were
>stolen from her have already been registered by others.  Try to imagine
>yourself in such a situation!

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