40M+ customers impacted as Zoho suffers major outage after registrar takes down Zoho.com

Last week was a frustrating one of Zoho and their customers as Tierra, the domain registrar for Zoho.com decided to take the site down citing security concerns. If you aren’t familiar with Zoho, you can think of it as a CRM (like Salesforce) coupled with a suite of online office apps (like GSuite) all wrapped into one. Not surprisingly, if your CRM and office suite are down at the same time your work comes to a screeching halt.

When I first heard about the Zoho.com outage I thought – wow, someone forgot to renew the domain. This has happened in the past to large well-known companies, it’s an embarrassing oversight, but it happens. In this case, forgotten renewal was not the culprit, instead Tierra, their registrar decided to punish them for not responding to emails they had sent regarding security concerns.

Initially Zoho execs had no idea what was going on and ended up making a desperate plea on Twitter to see if someone out there could help them:

zoho-down-tweet

I don’t know about you but I can’t think of many registrars that would take down a domain name for a major customer like this. While I don’t know the details of what Tierra.net thought Zoho was doing that was a security risk, it seems like a pretty serious move to take the domain down given the massive customer impact it made.

According to the CEO of Zoho, they had received three security complaints from Tierra, two of which they had resolved…needless to say, he was pretty pissed off.

“There were a total of 3 complaints in 2 months and we took action on 2 of them immediately and one is pending investigation,” he shot back on Twitter. “We serve 40 million users. 3 complaints in 2 months.” (Source – The Register)

If this is true, which it sounds like it is, then Tierra might just be the worst registrar on the planet, a title that I had given to 1&1 Domains years ago. I have been in the domain industry for over ten years and have never heard of Tierra, now I have and I can tell you that I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole based on what they did to Zoho.

Am I missing something or does Tierra just suck as a registrar?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • John September 30, 2018, 5:55 pm

    It says Tierra is ICANN accredited, so Zoho has already transferred to CloudFlare, or is Tierra just a reseller of CloudFlare or using it as a backend? Is it safe to think CloudFlare is innocent?

    Reply
  • rathead September 30, 2018, 6:23 pm

    Tierra.net was the registrar DomainDiscover.com which was originally BuyDomains.com the registrar started by michael mann

    Reply
  • Sigma October 1, 2018, 8:09 am

    Someone high up at GoDaddy should be contacting Zoho immediately to offer them the chance to transfer their business lol. Total clusterfuck on the part of the bush league Tierra…using the inferior domain name of Tierra.net. Bush league…

    Reply

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