Neowin.net is one of our partner websites, and it came as a surprise yesterday that the site went down completely. I first thought that this was just a fluke and tried connecting again in a different browser, but that did not work out as well.
After some digging I found out that neowin.net was indeed down and not responding at all. It was clear that this was not a software issue, as error messages would have been different in this case.
It appeared as if the domain had been pulled, which could mean a couple of things. It could mean that the site had been hacked for instance, that the domain expired and was snagged by a third-party, or that the site was on the move to a new server.
A quick DNS look-up on the other hand resulted in the following:
Retrieving DNS records for neowin.net...
Query for DNS records for neowin.net failed: Timed out
It was clear that the nameservers had been changed, and if the name of the domain is any indication as to what happened, it seems that incorrect data led to the pulling of the domain.
I mentioned earlier here on Ghacks that new ICANN regulations make it mandatory that so-called whois information are accurate for the domains that you own.
If they are not, and you are reported by someone, your domain will be pulled from the Internet until the issue is fixed.
This apparently happened to Neowin according to site administrator Steven P.
I've contacted ICANN through the support ticket to get it reinstated but I don't have any idea how long that process takes. It was due to one of the many email addresses that are tied to our account/domains not working. Although the email addresses on the public WHOIS do work and are valid. Just one of those things..
The issue has been fixed by now, and things should start to return to normal again in the next 24 hour period. For the time being, it is possible to access the site using the neow.in address instead.
If you are a webmaster or domain owner, you need to make sure that all Whois related information, as well as account related information, are accurate. You may run into the same domain pulling troubles as Neowin if you do not.
It is especially important that all email addresses and phone numbers connected to accounts are accurate, as this seems to be the core reason why domains may get pulled for inaccurate information.