Network Solutions Auto-Enroll: $1,850

I got an email from Network Solutions — where I still have two domains, originally registered in the ’90s — that informed me I have been enrolled in their WebLock Program.

To help recapture the costs of maintaining this extra level of security for your account, your credit card will be billed $1,850 for the first year of service on the date your program goes live. After that you will be billed $1,350 on every subsequent year from that date. If you wish to opt out of this program you may do so by calling us at 1-888-642-0265.

(Here’s a screenshot of the email. I’ve pasted in the text at the end of this post.)

I couldn’t believe that I’d been opted-in, without my permission, to any new product — and I was stunned when I saw how much it cost. And further surprised when I saw that I would have to make a phone call to deal with all this.

I found on Twitter that Network Solutions has an account. So I asked if this was phishing. The reply: it’s real.

My next step was, of course, to post a screen shot of the email on Twitter.

@netsolcares responded by suggesting I call the security team.

@brentsimmons Give the security team a call and they can explain 1-888-642-0265 Sorry for the inconvenience. ^rr

I’m not going to call the security team. (Which I’d bet is really a sales team.) I’ve been a customer of Network Solutions since 1997. While their website was always kind of a pain, I’ve never had problems with them.

But this goes way beyond acceptable behavior for any company I do business with. It’s extreme.

So I’ll be transferring those domains elsewhere. (Folks have recommended Hover and Dynadot.)

Text of the email

Dear Brent Simmons,

Cybercriminals continue to strengthen and evolve the techniques and tools they use to assault our customers' websites and domain names. According to the Symantec Internet Security Annual report the pace and frequency of hacking, phishing and social engineering has increased over 42% in 2013.

Compromised domain names can lead to substantial brand, reputational and financial damage. Once a domain name is compromised cybercriminals have total control of the content that appears on "your" website. In many cases objectionable content is posted or phishing sites are established whereby your customers' private information can be exploited.

At Network Solutions we take your security very seriously. We deploy some of the most advanced security monitoring and defense mechanisms in the industry to ensure only authorized users can access your company's domain name and name servers. Given the level of traffic to your website, we are taking another significant step to protect your domain name security.

Starting 9:00 AM EST on 2/4/2014 all of your domains will be protected via our WebLock Program. Here is how the program works:

  • In order to make changes to your Domain Name's configuration settings you must be pre-registered as a Certified User.
  • All requests for Domain Name configuration changes must be confirmed by an outbound call we make to a pre-registered authorized phone number you establish. A unique 9 digit PIN will be required when we call.
  • A message alert will be sent to all Certified Users notifying the team which Certified User has made the request.
  • In addition WebLock enrolled customers will have access to a 24/7 NOC and rapid response team in the event of any security issues.

To establish Certified Users and pre-register authorized phone numbers and email addresses please call 1-888-642-0265 Monday to Friday between 8:00AM and 5:00PM EST. Please make sure to establish Certified Users with authorized phone numbers and email addresses before launch date. Once established, the unique 9-digit PINs for each certified user will be mailed to you within 45-days.

To help recapture the costs of maintaining this extra level of security for your account, your credit card will be billed $1,850 for the first year of service on the date your program goes live. After that you will be billed $1,350 on every subsequent year from that date. If you wish to opt out of this program you may do so by calling us at 1-888-642-0265.

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this security program and register Certified Users before the program launch date. Thank you for helping us protect you better.

Regards
Geof Birchall

Geof Birchall
Chief Security Officer
Network Solutions

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21 Jan 2014

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