Is it bad to buy a domain that used to be used for nefarious purposes?
April 16, 2015 4:26 PM   Subscribe

I may be able to pick up an obscure but useful domain name soon. However, it was once a domain used for command-and-control systems for a well-known trojan that spread throughout the Internet. For the last five years, it's been held by a security/enforcement group that took it over.

Have you ever bought a once-disreputable domain name? How did it go? Did your traffic suffer? Were there problems with mail? Did it matter at all?
posted by Mo Nickels to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If it's that disreputable, you may find anything you try to host on it is blocked by firewalls, spam filters, Websense-style network devices, etc.
posted by erst at 4:33 PM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Response by poster: Sorry, I'm looking for actual experience, not speculation.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:43 PM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, I have experience with blocks of IP addresses that turned out to be on blacklists when we acquired them and how worthless they were because of it. I have experience with running Barracuda web filters on an enterprise scale. I also worked in tech at a company that owned a registrar business.

But you're correct, I have no actual experience in buying my very own previously-nefarious domain name, and I'm just speculating... based on my actual experience with other people's previously-nefarious domain names.

Good luck!
posted by erst at 5:08 PM on April 16, 2015 [49 favorites]


Best answer: The previous owners of the domain I work on increased their Google rankings by spamming forums and trading links with adult sites. Of course, Google (now) hates these practices and the domain was virtually nonexistent in search results when we bought it. There was a time when all we did was contact certain sites and ask them not to link to us. Now we're producing legitimate content and seeing our rankings increase, but it's an uphill struggle.
posted by Woodroar at 7:22 PM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not experience, but you should be able to check the domain on some sites like VirusTotal, some of the RBLs, and some of the web proxy vendor sites (BlueCoat, WebSense, McAfee) to get a sense of whether the domain is still considered to be a threat.
posted by jferg at 8:38 PM on April 16, 2015


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