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How to finda site's host without nameserver

Posted on 2014-03-23
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Last Modified: 2014-03-23
I'm trying to help my friend's boss get control of a website that's been taken over by a nefarious developer. I want to contact the host, but I haven't been able to figure out who it is. I checked the domain's whois, but the nameservers just point right back to the domain, which I assume means it's on a VPS or dedicated server. I told my friend to just check who the bills are payed to, but the company bookkeeper is on the developer's side. It's a bit of a mess.

Any advice on how I might be able to determine the host in this case? Thanks!
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Question by:Jonathan Greenberg
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39949187
If you can prove you bought the domain and are the legal owner then just contact the domain registrar to regain control.

Can you provide the url?
If http://www.whois.sc/ provides no info then it is probably a private server/VPS
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39949190
With the URL, you can look up the hosting company thru the IP address or the DNS listings.
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Author Comment

by:Jonathan Greenberg
ID: 39949200
Thanks, Gary. The complication here is that is a production WordPress site, so we're trying to get control of the actual site, not just the name. That means changing the hosting control panel login, the WordPress admin password, the WordPress database password, and the ftp login. All this can be achieved by getting access to the host's control panel, so we're trying to find the host. Getting control of the domain registration alone would enable pointing the name to a new host, but the whole functioning site would be lost.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,
Jon
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Author Comment

by:Jonathan Greenberg
ID: 39949207
Hi, Dave.

As I mentioned in my initial post, the DNS just points right back to the domain, so no help there.

I do have the IP. Is there a way to find the host from the IP that I might not be aware of?
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39949208
I understand what you mean. But owning the domain does not give you any rights to access the server where it is hosted unless you are actually paying for it...?

If you cannot come to some amicable solution with the developer you may have to pursue legal recourse, or settle with just the domain.
If you have some legal right the data stored on the site you may be entitled to get that back (through legal avenues)
One backup solution could be to scrape the site so you have the content to start up again.

In future never give control of your site to anyone, there is no reason a developer needs full control over a domain/hosting

(when I say you I mean your friends boss)
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Author Comment

by:Jonathan Greenberg
ID: 39949210
Gary, I'm hesitant to provide the URL after having spelled out the problem as clearly as I have. However unlikely, if word got back to the developer before action could be taken on our part, that would just make the situation uglier and more difficult.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39949211
You can try the IP lookup here
http://ip-lookup.net/index.php
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Author Comment

by:Jonathan Greenberg
ID: 39949220
Thanks, Gary. That led me to a "host name" of vps.domain.com. So it's on a VPS, as I suspected.

I'm a little confused myself about why the boss can't just get a hold of the credit card that's paying for hosting, but I'm told that this, too, is complicated.

Thanks so much for trying to help!

Regards,
Jon
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Accepted Solution

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Gary earned 500 total points
ID: 39949222
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39949223
If he is paying for the hosting it takes a 5 min call/email to request the password be changed.
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Author Comment

by:Jonathan Greenberg
ID: 39949242
Gary, I think that might have given me the info that I need! It looks to me like the site is hosted by wiredtree.com. I've advised my friend to contact them and see what they can do for him.

The whoisbyip gave me this:

[Querying whois.arin.net]
[Redirected to rwhois.wiredtree.com:4321]
[Querying rwhois.wiredtree.com]
[rwhois.wiredtree.com]
%rwhois V-1.5:003eff:00 rwhois.wiredtree.com (by Network Solutions, Inc. V-1.5.9.5)
network:Class-Name:network
network:ID:NETBLK-*_*.*_*/32
network:Auth-Area:96.30.0.0/18
network:Network-Name:*_*-*_*
network:IP-Network:*_*/32
network:IP-Network-Block:*_* - *_*
network:Organization;I:*_*
network:Tech-Contact;I:it@*domain*.com
network:Created:1392962400
network:Updated:1392962400
network:Updated-By:support@wiredtree.com

network:Class-Name:network
network:ID:NETBLK-WIREDTREE.96.30.0.0/18
network:Auth-Area:96.30.0.0/18
network:Network-Name:WIREDTREE-96.30.0.0
network:IP-Network:96.30.0.0/18
network:IP-Network-Block:96.30.0.0 - 96.30.63.255
network:Organization;I:Wiredtree
network:Tech-Contact;I:support@wiredtree.com
network:Admin-Contact;I:ARIN-NIC-HANDLE
network:Created:20010919
network:Updated:20010924
network:Updated-By:support@wiredtree.com

I'm betting that this indicates the host is wiredtree.com. If you disagree, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39949254
Looks to be the one!
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Author Comment

by:Jonathan Greenberg
ID: 39949297
OK, Gary, thanks so much!
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