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No-IP Takes Stock of Toll on Customers from Microsoft’s Service Takedown


No-IP Takes Stock of Toll on Customers from Microsoft’s Service Takedown

Reno, Nev. – July 15, 2014 – No-IP, the world’s largest free Dynamic DNS provider, recently reached a settlement with Microsoft in a court case involving a secret, botched attempt to combat malware infecting computers running Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft seized 23 No-IP internet domains containing nearly 5 million subdomains (or hostnames) and unintentionally took down service to 1.8 million innocent No-IP customers It returned the seized domains to No-IP’s control after just two days when it couldn’t restore the service to the innocent customers. A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, July 15th will address public and private efforts to battle cybercrime, and the need for sensible enforcement so that the Internet property rights of innocent third parties don’t become collateral damage in such efforts.

“While we are pleased with the settlement and are happy that we were able to return service to our users, we are still assessing the damage the seizure caused,” commented Dan Durrer, founder and CEO of Vitalwerks, which operates No-IP. “We hope our story can help Congress create a better process.”

Microsoft’s seizure action was only aimed at a small number of hostnames that it claimed were identified as being involved in malware. Those represented a small fraction of No-IP’s active hostnames, yet Microsoft seized the entire domains. As a result of the botched move by Microsoft, nearly five million hostnames operated by 1.8 million No-IP customers were taken offline. Microsoft has since released an apology to No-IP’s customers.

Among the cut-off customers was Steve Smith, a graduate student in mobile game design. When Microsoft interrupted his service, Steve had just gotten word that Apple had published his app, and he had submitted it to his school. “My application received numerous negative reviews from frustrated users because it was non-functional. I had to submit an update that, due to the Apple review process, took almost a week to publish. By this time, the damage was done. My application is still recovering from poor ratings,” said Smith. “I was also barely able to submit an update to my school. This could have cost me my GPA and $2,000 to repeat a class that I certainly should not have been failing, based on my work product.”

The Microsoft service disruption wasn’t just a number to the bottom line. Another No-IP customer, Jim Kippling explained how he uses the service. “I use No-IP to connect my family’s security cameras,” said Kippling. “When my service was taken down, I was unable to keep tabs on my aging father who, because we can monitor him, is able to still enjoy a significant amount of independence.”

“We are happy to be back to focusing on our business, and we thank our customers for their support and patience. We also thank our many supporters in the industry,” said Durrer. “We will be carefully monitoring the action in Washington and look forward to being part of giving voices to millions of Internet users through our DNS services.”

Since its founding 15 years ago, No-IP has grown to more than 19 million customers and is the preferred choice for dynamic DNS. No-IP provides powerful, useful, and reliable services to home users, small businesses and members of the Fortune 500. From Dynamic DNS to Managed DNS and other integral domain products, No-IP delivers trusted products that help people stay connected to their devices and ensures that the domain and related services are fast, safe and always available.


Natalie Goguen
5905 S. Virginia Street
Reno, Nevada 89502

** “No-IP did not intend for this article to infer that the Congressional hearing was called specifically because of Microsoft’s lawsuit against No-IP.”**

  1. Ben

    NO-IP has yet to explain how Microsoft was able to “seize” and gain full control over its domains. Perhaps NO-IP is unable to relate the details of the case at this time, for whatever reason, but the details are very relevant to the rest of us, and to the Internet as a whole.

    The fact that Microsoft was able to completely co-opt domains under another entity’s ownership, under any circumstance (never mind without NO-IP’s knowledge or participation), is downright frightening. Under what authority? Microsoft is a private corporation; it has no authority whatsoever to take property from another private corporation, even on a judge’s say-so. If a judge authorizes me to commit a crime, it doesn’t make the act lawful.

    And the rationale for the takeover is even more frightening. Unless I’m mistaken, the nature of Microsoft’s claim is that “people are using NO-IP’s services to attack our customers’ computers.” Not only is this claim utterly frivolous, but it’s analogous to Apple seizing control of Microsoft’s domains because people using Windows are hacking into Apple computers. It’s just obscene, on its very face.

    I hope you folks at Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC have good lawyers. The gravity of this case (unless there’s something we are not being told) may draw a few pro bono actors, if all else fails.

  2. Good luck guys! It just seems like Microsoft should have planned all this better. Only MS can find a way to make millions of people mad at once again like windows 8. They should have worked with you to enhance security measures to reduce the number of people abusing the system BEFORE people have to report it. Looks like everyone but a few security firms support you. Keep up the good work

  3. If a judge authorizes me to commit a crime, it doesn’t make the act lawful.

  4. Just thought you might want to put this in your database. When NO-IP went down, I cancelled my internet service since, from 1200 miles away, I had no means of accessing my security camera remotely and it would have left me paying for inet service that I couldn’t use. When NO-IP went back up, I was unable to set it up again. Now my subscription is wasting away until I’m able to get back to set it up again.

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