Big travel portal goes commando - forgets to renew domain. Funny ? No this is a serious oversight!

Update @ 3 pm - 12 Aug 2013 
The site is still down which means that something more serious than just a non-renewal of the domain name. An ad page loads if you want to go to - wish them all the best.

12 Aug 2013 @ 9.30 am

Someone's gonna go on a looonnnggg yatra with a pink slip in his/her pocket now!

One of the biggest travel portals in the country forgot to renew their domain ! (Just goes to show how they manage their priorities) This is so hilarious - how can someone forget to renew their domain name especially when the COMPLETE BUSINESS MODEL IS ONLINE E-COMMERCE. This is like forgetting your girlfriend's / wife's / mistress' birthday - you could be so dead. 

OK now for another big laugh - this is an e-commerce travel portal and they are big. This obviously means that there are inquiries and purchases practically 24 x 7 so when the orders, or activity, stopped happening on the portal - what happened ? Were there any alarm bells? The laugh here is that these guys took about 24 hours to make a $ 20 payment. Yes - seems no one had a clue about what went wrong and it took this time to make the payment and come back online. 

Lets analyze this incident: 

The WHOIS record provides this information about the expiration and renewal.. ( expires on 09-Aug-2013.Record created on 09-Aug-2000.Database last updated on 11-Aug-2013 22:06:05 EDT

It was good to pay up for ten years when the domain name was registered in the year 2000 but it was bad not to keep a reminder for the renewal. Or to enable auto-renewal which is a feature available on Network Solutions, the registrar.

Calculating the downtime:This whois record shows Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and this is to be converted to Indian Standard Time (IST) - this means: - expired on 09 Aug 2013 at end of day EDT which is 10 Aug 2013 @ 0930 hrs (IST)- was renewed on 11 Aug 2013 at 22:06:05 EDT which is 12 Aug @ 0736 hrs (IST)
The loss is in the lost business in that period, complaints and loss of reputation which is bound to happen. I for one may not use yatra which comes out as someone who do not have control on their own valuable assets.

Downtime:  1 day, 22 hours, 6 minutes - the time seems to have gone offline. I can well imagine the revenue loss. Click this to see the calculation here 

Surely some heads are going to roll and go for a long yatra ! Funny? No sir, not at all - this is very serious and they could well have lost the domain for a longer period. 

Yatra has gone into denial which is evident from the statement on Facebook and Twitter. 13 hours earlier they had announced that the site was down due to technical reasons. About an hour earlier they put up a notice that the site is back up. 

Another hahaha - guys you were enjoying your weekend and the site went up in that period - simply speaking the incident management program sucks too! There was not update for clients in the 13 hour period since the first online post. And the statements issued in this period do not really assure customers.

The statements talk about working with reliance and other networks - give me a break and technical difficulties with their DNS servers. Wrong wrong, oh so wrong ! You guys are getting wrong advice. 

People may say mistakes happen - I say no sir. Not such mistakes. You might as well make the mistake of not wearing your pants when stepping out to work.  

Now the domain name has been renewed, but for a year. Their domain registration still has some weaknesses which I hope they will correct. And let's see if they have learned their lesson.

Domain names are a microcosm in the enterprise but they assume gigantic proportions with time. They have to be safeguarded and protected from the many threats (direct and indirect) if the owners want to continue to grow value and retain their assets and reputation. is presently working on a Domain Name Management  and Registration Best Practices paper which will be published in a month - this paper warns about these types of vulnerabilities - watch out for the announcement. 

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