No-IP regains control of some domains wrested by Microsoft

A Nevada-based company has regained control of the majority of domains seized by Microsoft in a legal action aimed at shutting down botnets.

Vitalwerks, which runs No-IP, said it now has 18 of 23 domains commandeered by Microsoft on Monday using a restraining order granted by the state’s federal court.

No-IP spokeswoman Natalie Goguen said Wednesday No-IP is waiting for Public Interest Registry, which controls all “.org” top-level domains, to make the rest of the company’s domains available. She wrote that the company still does not control “no-ip.org,” which is one of the company’s most-used domains.

No-IP offers a free dynamic DNS service that updates DNS entries for a domain hosted on a computer that is assigned varying IP addresses by an ISP. A subdomain is assigned to a customer, and the DNS record is updated as a computer’s IP address changes.

The company’s services went offline Monday when Microsoft served it with the restraining order. Although Microsoft doesn’t accuse No-IP of wrongdoing, it alleged the company failed to take prompt action when cybercriminals used its service for managing botnets, or networks of hacked computers.

Microsoft intended to simply filter out the botnet-related traffic from No-IP’s domains. But a technical error knocked some of No-IP’s customers offline, although Microsoft said on Tuesday the issues had been resolved. No-IP disagreed.

A Microsoft spokesman said Wednesday the company had no comment.

Microsoft’s civil suit alleges two men in Algeria and Kuwait used No-IP’s services to maintain contact with computers they hacked using two malware families called Bladabdindi and Jenxcus.

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