Life after Godaddy.com: No One’s Above the Law!

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Above the Law

Above the Law, Steven Seagal

Disclaimer, probably the best way to read this article about Godaddy.com is to read it through the first time and the second time click on the videos and links so that the article flows better and as not to get lost.

Life is Supposed to be about the Journey: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This is a life story about Godaddy.com and when the customer proposition goes terribly wrong!

Life is supposed to be about the journey. What you make of it; and leave behind (like leave this world better than when you found it!); the good, the bad and the ugly–> see here . In the end, when it’s time to leave this Big Beautiful Blue Planet,  do as Socrates once  stated about “the unexamined life”. Contemplate the meaning of that life, reflect upon it, reconcile, get catharsis and understanding of the “ secret” of life because we finally get it! The planets align when we’re near death and all is good in the world or at least in balance in a kind of “eye for an eye” kind of way.

EPIC ANGUISH of Godaddy.com’s Handling of Two-Step Verification and “the Customer”

In my case, I’m neither near death nor cathartic. My recent journey took on untold EPIC ANGUISH from Godaddy.com‘s handling of Two-Step Verification. What transpired with Godaddy.com, therefore, bears telling– to document,  to reflect and to learn from. I can’t say that “I’m there,” i.e., understand why it happened. Nor am I very cathartic about what transpired with my locked Godaddy account and two-step verification. Near death might also be a bit too strong, but the point is made– I am beside myself! So let me try and tell what happened in simple terms as best I can and let one bear witness to my anguish; because I still can’t believe myself what happened and there’s got to be a lesson in here for everyone to learn from– even Godaddy.com, if that’s possible?

Godaddy.com Sent “the Dogs” After Me!

Just after I published the last article about my troubles with Godaddy.com on 10 Oct (here), it seems that Godaddy.com “sent the dogs after me;” like a good old fashion Southern “Coon hunt and lynching,” and here . Like Whites used to do down South against Blacks in the U.S. during slavery, 1890s-1960s and racial tensions. There are still ongoing racial tensions in the U.S. today, only now there’s no need to physically lynch anyone. One can just shoot to kill or do it electronically. Nikki Giovanni, comes to mind when I think of racial tension and struggle.

Koon Hunt

For more understanding on racial tensions in the U.S., see also this article from Harvard University, here. Godaddy came after me with a vengeance with the intent of shutting down my blog and negative comments in the article. That they did! I say this because after being locked out again after publishing the article and finally getting back in to my account after more than two weeks this time — there was a lot of peculiar stuff that had happened inside my account. 

What is the meaning of Godaddy.com Support?

THESE CHANGES CAN ONLY BE EXPLAINED BY SOMEONE HAVING BEEN IN MY ACCOUNT AND MAKING THESE CHANGES in contradiction to what was told to me by Godaddy.com Support. That not even support could get into the account with two-step-verification on it. To me, support means Godaddy.com on the other side of the phone. To them, maybe it literally meant that particular department– you know, playing with words or being deceitful.

As I said, having recently regained access to my Godaddy.com account and looking around at important data to see the state of affairs– something was wrong. For example, DNS Zone Edit File, IP address and PIN number– it had the feel of someone being in there. Something like the story of The Three Little Bears.

Papa Bear came home and felt (knew) someone had been eating his porridge, sitting in his chair and sleeping in his bed. Papa Bear can tell these things because these things belong to Papa Bear and he knows when something doesn’t feel right! I’m sure we’ve all had that feeling before? For example, my PIN number– Godaddy actually told me I didn’t know my own PIN number; that number was based on something special to me, so of course I knew my PIN number! The number that was in there after I regained was alien to me, ridiculous!

A Loyal Godaddy.com Customer for 5 Years Stabbed in the Back!

Any web hosting administrator worth his salt doing this for a couple of years knows how to set up and use an IP address, domain name, name servers, pin codes and such. So when I had gotten back into my account, as I done any countless numbers of time before in the past 5 years,  there was no doubt that someone had been in my account and changed things around without my consent.  In any job, there is a work flow and habits one develops on how to get things done when you login and have work to do, so you know where and what things are in your account. During the time I was locked out and looking to regain access, I was told previously when I only needed Godaddy to just unlock my domain names (months ago, in the beginning) so that I could move (transfer) my domains to another provider– that even if Godaddy support wanted to help, that no one could get into that account unless the two-step verification people disabled two-step. Additionally, my password would also have to be changed and account unlocked by a senior support administrator and pin verified– that must be after the two-step process and is the administrator technically support? So how did the information in my get modified? Like Ricky Ricardo used to say to his wife “Lucille Ball” in the Show Lucille Ball, “…LUCY, you got some explaining to do…”

The Breakdown of What Domain Name Server is.

Let me break it down here this way, computers work in 1s and 0s but generally we humans prefer alphabets, words, phrases and sentences. This sets up the basic and fundamental premise of the information I’m referring to as being changed– the Domain Name Server (DNS) Zone File. This system we call the Internet is set up such that everything (equipment or nodes) or everyone has an address and/or IP address on the platform, system or Internet and related to a “name” or domain name.  This  numbered IP (Internet Protocol) address is so machines, instances and entities can do their work and processes and we humans see names; when that IP address is linked together with a domain name (e.g., web site name or address) it must be attached to a domain name server (like an address book or reverse look up)– the Internet works then and can find things; actually I can still use the “machine name” or numbered IP address if I know what it is and administrators frequently do just that. All administrators know these numbers, use them frequently and converse in them back and forth all the time. Much like your phone numbers, address, passport number and such– you know what that number is and what it’s used for!

There aren’t an infinite number of IP addresses out there, but enough– this goes for domain names as well. One can either have one or not the other, but when you put them both together– we have something similar in respects to your specific home address, phone number and zip code; it can only be you. The process is like this, say I have an account with Godaddy.com and wish to purchase a domain name, e.g., I want to reserve a special domain name but don’t have the money yet for a hosting account with an IP address, name servers and other options like storage and email services. Most of this information must go in the account’s DNS Zone Edit File, amongst other places. It’s an editable file (for those having “root access“) because it can be changed as needed when these parameters change.

DNS Zone File

DNS Zone FIle Sample

The Internet IP Address System at Work

The IP addresses are set by ICANN (The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and Registrars like Godaddy.com get blocks of IP address to make available to accounts and clients who need them. For example, when I bought my first Shared Hosting account with Godaddy, I had IP addresses, but no domain name as yet. In another case, sample reseller account, I had purchased a domain name, but had no web hosting services for the account. If I purchase a domain, I can become what’s called the Registrant for the that domain– i.e., like the name on the lease. My name will appear in WHOIS as the Registrant owner for that domain. In order to find the domain name servers (DNS) on the Internet that know who owns a specific domain (most times they do, but sometimes there are issues) and the IP address attached to the Domain Name must be established (picked if you have many) and used in one’s DNS Zone Edit File as discussed above. By querying a particular Domain Name using a tool like Google DNS Lookup Tool, one can find out the “Authoritative Name Servers” (ANS) for the name servers of the domain and other information about the domain in question– for example, the Name Servers (NS), email servers (MX), alias names (CNAME) and such belonging to the domain in question; or domain that you think you have! You can troubleshoot your problems.

If you’ve been following me, it doesn’t take a detective or Sherlock Holmes to figure out that if my domain name can no longer be found on the Internet, that either the site is down, Godaddy.com is down or something in that DNS Zone File has changed (pretty much results in the site being down) like changing your SIM Card or phone number– the other number won’t work anymore.

Elementary my Dear Watson!

To the latter, Sherlock Holmes might say, elementary my dear Watson, “…eliminate the obvious and what’s left must be true, however, improbable…” And in this case, based on the aforementioned explanations given, there are very few possibilities and even fewer conclusions. One must then establish a time-line, who would have a motive, who had opportunity and lastly, who had all of them.

Establishing a Timeline and Fruits of the Crime: The DNS Zone File Caper

The timeline has already been established, between mid-June and the first part of November 2017; I might also hasten to suggest who had both motive and opportunity– Godaddy.com. Now only as to establish those with special access to accomplish such task as accessing a private, locked account under two-step verification lock and key; only technical support, with administrative level permissions and access– this rules me out altogether. Further, after the previous blog article was written in the 2nd week in October. What I’m saying here is that up until then, even though I didn’t have access to many menu items like unlocking my domain– I could still control, access and edit the DNS Zone File and put the NS, MX and other information I wanted in there– the domain could remain up using NS information from another hosting service like Amazon Web Services (AWS)– which I had done. Remember, computers or servers could care less where the information, IPs, NS and such come from– only that they are correct!

Most administrators also know that logs of all kinds are created, stored and backed up — again, only those having appropriate access can see them and/or delete them. There’s a log somewhere of such activity.

Conclusion: No One is Above the Law, not Even Godaddy.com

So in conclusion, there are indeed “fruits of the crime” to be found, indeed a crime that has been committed and a full accounting that must be reckoned. And as they say, justice delayed, is justice denied. There must be a strong signal sent to those who believe they can operate above the law with impunity. There must also be a special place reserved for those in power who abuse that power. Power can be, as former U.S. President George W Bush (43) said, “… be intoxicating…”. Never-the-less, a message– and a strong one at that given the growth in technology and the digital space– must be sent and heard so that all know– NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW, NOT EVEN GODADDY.COM!

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