Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is let go of something we once loved and cared for. We put so much attention and energy into the thing that it becomes a part of our own identity. This could be a job, a career, a relationship, or something else entirely. For me this time around, it’s the latter...and it’s pretty painful.
Sometime around the beginning of November 2022 I started receiving strange emails that weren’t being caught by spam filtering. The majority of them had "obxdesignworks" in the subject, which is not unusual since that had been my online persona and occasional username since 2006. I started working under the name "Outer Banks Design Works" at the time and that abbreviated form was easier to type and remember from a branding perspective. I did what I usually do and marked them as junk and went on about my day.
One night I was troubled in thought and for some reason felt led to check on the "obxdesignworks.com" domain, which had been set up to redirect to this website since 2012 (I no longer lived in the Outer Banks). To my shock and confusion, I saw that my obxdesignworks.com domain name had been removed from my registrar, transferred to Verisign, and was set up to use nameservers originating from Japan. My heart sank only to be ignited in rage and complete confusion. What the fuck happened? How did this happen to me? Here is the WHOIS data:
I left out the contact portion of the WHOIS record, but you get the gist...unbelievable.
After months of trying I had to give up any hope of regaining control of the domain. Outer Banks Design Works is
gone, and a part of my career history and a part of my past life went with it to some hacker in Japan (or elsewhere,
IP hopscotch). This happened to me before with williamdodson.com in 2003, and the domain squatters wanted $6,000
return it. This one hurt a lot more. Apparently whoever is in control of the obxdesignworks domain is
it as a base for cyber attacks. I had a long time client, and someone I considered to be a friend, stop talking to
recently because they "
prefer not to speak to a known Hacker." What can I do except face
reality. It’s hard to prove my innocence when something that was once so inexorably tied to my name is now in the
hands of shitty people doing shitty things.
For now there is nothing that I can do to regain control of my old domain name. Domain transfer is locked and I cannot afford to try and buy it back through the GNAME domain broker right now. But for anyone who thought poorly of me because of something these morons are doing in my name, I wish you well. I strive to build relationships with the people and businesses I work with, so if you truly believe that I would do something like hack your website, etc., I wish you the best. Apparently you believe that I am stupid enough to "shit where I eat" and that really hurts.
So I have done the best I can to triage the damages from my end and I just have to move on. My Twitter handle was updated years ago to @williamvdodson and I recently updated everything else I could think of associated with "obxdesignworks". It still hurts a lot and it will sting every time I think about it. 💔