This is going to be a long post, so prepare to be bored. Also it will be
borderline obsessive, simply because I want to make sure everything is
cleanly and properly noted.
Conjecture: IGE owns OGaming which owns Thottbot.com
I originally picked up this idea from http://wow.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=21&mid=1107932104887749460&num=8
Some of my evidence will be memory based, but will eventually be found
truthful by archive.org. It is too bad we cannot go back further in
time. Also note that some will use historical WHOIS information
(provided by whois.sc).
Lets start with IGE and OGaming. If you check the WHOIS information
a few things to note:
1. Address. 152 W. 57 Steet, Carnegie Hall Tower (nice digs)
2. Administrative Contact: Broyer, Jean-Marc
3. DNS: ns1.ogaming.com ns8.enthropia.com
Now lets relate the three.
. Same address -
perhaps it is just coincidence and they are somehow both in Carnegie
2. Who is this Jean-Marc? Searching on google for 'Jean-Marc Broyer'
we are lead to some page to IGE! Clicking on it gives us no luck. But
using google cache
We learn that: Jean-Marc Broyer - General Manager, Content Network -
"Jean-Marc Broyer joined IGE in September, 2004". Interesting indeed!
3. This is for reference. ns1.ogaming.com resolves to 126.96.36.199.
According to geobytes.com, that is located in Glen Mills, Pennslyvania.
ns8.enthropia.com resolves to 188.8.131.52. Geobytes.com has no clue
where this is. Doing an ARIN WHOIS (http://www.arin.net/whois/
) it tells
me that the IP block is owned by Priority Colo. PriorityColo.com says it
is located in Canada, and doing a traceroute puts me through
xxxx.TNK-Toronto.teleglobe.net on the last hop before I enter
PriorityColo. So Canada it is.
So now we do a bit more digging. And we stumble across this. Interesting
to note - http://www.ogaming.com/data/2236~Contact.php
To quote: "Our
properties include OGaming.com, L2Orphus.com, Thottbot.com,
Guild-Hall.net, Warcraftcentral.com, more than 30 targeted community
sites as well as a vast array of online forums." Sounds pretty big.
L2orphus.com's forums have almost 950,000 forum posts at the time of
this writing (http://www.l2orphus.com/forum/index.php
), thottbot.com is
a huge WoW website, guild-hall.net seems to be listed as an Elite
Fansite at the official website
seems a slightly above-average site.
The whois history of this site is a staggering 107 records. Between Jan
9 and Jan 20 2005 the whois information changed from proxy information
to real information. At this time DNS was ns7.enthropia.com and
ns8.enthropia.com. The last change before was between 2004-09-25 and
2004-09-28. On the 25th it was listed as being owned by Enthropia Inc.
Before that it was registered to an @ogaming.com email
. He will be mentioned later). It is also notable that
with the proxy WHOIS had a name listed: rpgholdings
So lets dig into the other sites first:
-It has IGE ads on its site.
Same as ogaming.com except that it uses ns1.changeip.com and
ns2.changeip.com. The site resolves to IP 184.108.40.206. Skipping over
direct links here, geobytes.com cannot find it, ARIN says it is owned by
PriorityColo, and again it resolves to Toronto.
WHOIS history again presents itself as interesting. 19 records this
time. It changed to being owned by ogaming between 2005-01-06 and
2005-01-27. On January 6 the whois information was proxy based. Its
previous change was between 2004-06-12 and 2004-09-24 (yes long time
between record entries). Previously listed owner was Immanuel Steiner.
-DNS info matches l2orphus.com. Resolves to same IP as l2orphus.com
Only 8 WHOIS entries. This is where it gets interesting. It changed
between 2005-01-07 and 2005-02-07. On Jan 7 it was proxy information
except it listed RPG Holdings, LLC as the registrant and Adminstrative
Contact as Pierce, Brock. One only need to check the IGE About Us page
) to see who Mr.
Pierce is! Also to note that during this time the DNS has not changed -
an assumption here, but I assumed that the place it pointed to was the
same (in Toronto). The other change was between 2004-06-02 (Joseph Lay,
the name on it since the domain was created) and 2004-09-24 (proxy whois
rpgholdings.com seems to have been registered October 14, 2003 and is a
store. rpg-holdings.com on the other hand was only registered November
23, 2004. Three WHOIS records: Current is a proxy listing. Both previous
ones are also proxy (and also use changeip!)
Researching the IP that hosts l2orphus.com, guild-hall.net, and even
warcraftcentral.com, we come across some other interesting sites:
rpgexpert.com (IGE ads), shadowknight.org (IGE ad), mmorpg.net (.net -
not .com!) It is to note that anyone who followed EverQuest will know
that IGE bought shadowknight.org and created (bought?) rpgexpert.com.
Rpgexpert.com warrants a closer look. The original WHOIS record for
rpgexpert.com is from 2003-08-25 and is to Jonathan Yantis. He is
referred on IGE's About Us page as their 'Chief Strategic Officer'.
Right now WHOIS lists ogaming as the owner. The 2005-01-20 lists
rpg-holdings, and the address at "1591 E. atlantic blvd. , Pompano
Beach". The previous record of 2005-01-11 also lists this address, but
the Administrative Contact is Pierce, Brock (remember him) and the email
. This Mr. Yantis seems to have been bought up by IGE: http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:LjA1rYfqz3UJ:www.ige.com/aboutus_OP.htm+IGE+yantis+&hl=en
While looking at guild-hall.net, I noticed it mentioned an 'Interview
with IGE' that pointed to http://guildwars.ogaming.com/data/2315~IGEInterview.php
ogaming sites also seem to link to this interview.
So we may have linked IGE to OGaming and its little sites, but where
does Thottbot fit in other than what ogaming claims?
Thottbot.com resolves to '18.104.22.168'. This is also at Glen Mills,
Pennslyvania (where ogaming is right now). Thottbot.com WHOIS is also
proxy protected. I did not mention this earlier, but in the switch of
the domain registrations, all the websites from registrar X to Network
Solutions. Then a few months ago they all went to GoDaddy. Thottbot.com
is also at Godaddy.com. It used to be at 'onlinenic, inc.'
So its a bit interesting, but not much.
Thottbot's DNS is ns1.thottbot.net and ns2.thottbot.net. Thottbot.net's
WHOIS is not proxy protected, and it mentiosn a 'William Dyess'.
Checking whois history of thottbot.com, Mr. Dyess was also listed as the
owner of thottbot.com (before it was hidden by proxy).
So while I was searching for the missing link (it is always there), I
stumbled across something while checking out the site -
ogamingmedia.com. ogamingmedia.com is weird. It points to 22.214.171.124,
which is in Texas. Further investigation shows that it is owned by
ev1servers.net, a very large dedicated web hosting company.
Now viewing source on l2orphus.com, warcraftcentral.com, ogaming.com,
you actually see ogamingmedia.com on every site. ogaming.com uses it for
its own ad serving, so we can assume that it is indeed owned by them
(and WHOIS information correlates).
So what happened?https://registrar.godaddy.com/whois.asp?isc=&se=%2B&from_app=&mscssid=&pl_id=1&prog_id=GoDaddy&domain=ogamingmedia%2ECOM
Look at the domain name servers. ns1.thottbot.net and ns2.thottbot.net.
The same DNS servers used by thottbot.com. Do a host lookup using that
DNS, and it indeed points to 126.96.36.199. Query enthropia DNS and it
also points to that same IP.
One final thing. ogaming.com front page says '(c) 2000-2003'. Google
- 2003 Enthropia. From what I can gather in this research, plus asking
around people at ogaming, and this random thread (found while
. It seems like
IGE bought this network from them.
Final statement: IGE owns thottbot.com, ogaming.com, and a host of other
The repercussions of this could be deep. From using thottbot as a
resource to find farming places to using thottbot as an engine of
advertising (everyone seems to know of it) this is a serious concern. A
currency selling company owning such websites is a serious issue.
Side note: http://whois.webhosting.info/188.8.131.52
- interesting list.