Shiningmonkey.com Hi-Jacked by Cyber Squatters- Manufacturers of Premium Car Care Products Shining Monkey Inc. Fights Back

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Confusion, smoke, mirrors and an outrageous attempt to extort. Questionable acquisitions of domains (such as shiningmonkey.com), by hijackers have companies like Shining Monkey Inc. manufacturers of premium car care products to take action. Unlawfully acquiring high-traffic web domains for the purpose of turning shockingly high profits is unfortunately common practice. There is misleading security with domain hosting companies, who turn the other cheek to acts of obvious cyber-squatting.

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Shining Monkey Inc., manufacturer of premium car care products was a victim of a widely reported domain name cyber squatting attack. The incident, which took place between 4:30 AM ET and 7:45 AM ET on Sunday, February 5th, was caused by a sophisticated, large-scale attack on domain names across the Internet. As a result, Shining Monkey's popular http://www.shiningmonkey.com domain name was stolen. A large-scale dispute that includes numerous companies has been filed with government officials. In the meantime, Shining Monkey will operate under the domain name, http://www.shiningmonkey.net.

Initial investigations with technical support at the domain’s registrar, claims it was a completely legal transfer of ownership of the domain. However, they now claim the domain was expired and open to the public. “Register.com does not determine the legality of domain names registered through our site… Register.com neither acts as arbiter nor provides resolution of disputes between registrants and third party complaints arising out of the registration or use of a domain name.” A statement made from a register.com customer service manager. While investigations still continue there, Shining Monkey Inc., trademark holders for the domain is pressing forward with the domain dispute to litigation with ICANN, the governing body for all registered domains worldwide. The company that now has the domain hostage is in clear violation of the (ACPA) Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999, which is embodied in the Lanham Act.

The problem was quickly detected by Shining Monkey's automated monitoring systems, and its personnel mitigated the attack by working closely with customers, making key adjustments in the Company's infrastructure, and cooperating with several network partners around the world to shut down the source of the attack. Furthermore, Shining Monkey is cooperating with U.S. Federal law enforcement agencies that are investigating the incident.

As a high traffic Web site with products targeting the youth car enthusiasts, visitors were surprised to find http://www.shiningmonkey.com was gone and replaced with pornography advertising links and banners from numerous companies not affiliated with the brand Shining Monkey. Yet another violation of ACPA’s very distinct and clear laws governing cyber squatting laws.

The attack was exclusively targeting domain names, as the server, infrastructure, and all collaterals were safe from any and all intrusions. Using its state-of-the-art intrusion detection and protection software there was no risk of loss.

The company that hijacked the domain is located conveniently in a tax haven and US non-extraditing country has since offered the sale of the domain back to trademark holders Shining Monkey Inc. for the sum of $120,000 USD.

Shining Monkey, Inc. regrets any and all inconvenience that the affected customers may have experienced, and continues to take steps to protect customers and itself against the effects of future attacks.

An Innumerable amount of revenues have been lost due to the erroneous acts of these cyber squatters. Shining Monkey patrons, followers, and forum members may be under a pretense that Shining Monkey Inc. is no longer doing business. By consequence, all possible efforts are being taken to re-establish the integrity of Shining Monkey Inc, and seize the current client base by re-direction to ShiningMonkey.net for continued business.

For more information about Shining Monkey, visit http://www.ShiningMonkey.net.

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Andre Lee-young
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