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We have been using the domain cdn4.website for our Content Delivery Network (CDN) for a couple of years. It is used by all the webshops we support.

On the 28th of February all our webshops started to malfunction. After some digging and testing we discovered that the domain of our CDN sometimes didn't resolve correctly. Since the domain was essential to our operation we investigated further. The domain was correctly listed in the DNS server. The DNS server worked fine. It took us quite some time to discover that the TLD had suspended our domain. We were not made aware of the suspension. We contacted our registrar, and they didn't know anything.

The company behind the TLD .website is Radix. http://radixregistry.com

They have a lookup page where you can see why the domain was suspended. All it says is: "Potential abuse". That is not very informative. We have used their contact form to react to the suspension. Now, a week later, we still haven't heard anything from them. The domain is still suspended. Our registrar has also tried to contact them, without success. I also tried their email address, but got no response.

To be clear: We did not (intentionally) abuse the domain in any way.

We managed to switch the CDN to another domain quite quickly, but the webshops weren't working properly for almost half a day. We're talking many thousands of euros in costs and lost revenue.

Radix indicates, on their website, that they rely on others to detect abuse. Basically this seems to be a fully automated process. It is likely open to abuse.

The problem I have is that Radix is completely unresponsive. Has anybody else experienced this, and found a way to contact them to get the domain unsuspended?

These are all the TLDs managed by Radix:

  • .tech
  • .press
  • .site
  • .space
  • .store
  • .online
  • .website
  • .fun
  • .host
  • .uno

This suspension has learned me to more carefully scrutinize which company is behind a TLD.

UPDATE

To my surprise I received a reply from Radix today. They say:

The domain name cdn4.website was suspended based on or proactive analysis where similar pattern domains were reported and suspended for abuse. However, based on your update we have unsuspended it and disabled the ServerHold. Please ensure that the domain name is safe and secured to avoid any sort of abuse instances in the future. Thank you.

They basically admit that there wasn’t even any abuse, just that our domain name looked suspicious. Their analysis clearly didn’t understand what a “CDN for website” could be, nor could they be bothered to find out. It was just a batch job. Hmmm, weird name, let’s see what happens if we suspend it. Just ridiculous.

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Your registrar should be first point of contact there, which is Tucows, as shown in whois:

Domain Name: CDN4.WEBSITE
Registry Domain ID: D13316857-CNIC
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.tucows.com
Registrar URL: http://www.tucows.com/
Updated Date: 2020-02-27T17:46:25.0Z
Creation Date: 2015-11-25T13:16:15.0Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2020-11-25T23:59:59.0Z
Registrar: Tucows.com Co.
Registrar IANA ID: 69
Domain Status: serverHold https://icann.org/epp#serverHold
Registrant Organization: Data Protected
Registrant State/Province: NRW
Registrant Country: DE
...

Note this interesting point:

Domain Status: serverHold

(you can consult the link for associated details)

Hold in this context means your domain name is not resolving anymore because it is not published anymore on registry nameservers.

server means that status was set by the server, which in this context means the registry. Which means the registrar can not revert that in any way, but still it remains your point of contact.

Registries have basically full rights to cut off any domain at any point. You may not like it, and no one may like it, but it is written so in the contract you sign when registering the domain name. The registrar shows it to you but it is often not read. So you may have the same kind of problems in any TLD, and specifically all gTLDs are covered by ICANN rules that are very pushy for regulations and registries cutting domains they believe to be having a bad influence on the Internet.

Note that recently multiple registries started to go after what they believe to be fake web shops and fraudulent registrations and cut them off. Various recent cases:

Which is just to show that there is a lot of activity in that area

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  • Thank you for your answer. I just got, after a week, an reply from Radix. They say: “The domain name cdn4.website was suspended based on or proactive analysis where similar pattern domains were reported and suspended for abuse. However, based on your update we have unsuspended it and disabled the ServerHold. Please ensure that the domain name is safe and secured to avoid any sort of abuse instances in the future. Thank you.”. It works again, but I have already deleted the domain (at expire). They basically admit not having a good reason to suspend the domain. – KIKO Software Mar 5 '20 at 15:59

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