A popular social networking app, Curious Cat has lost control of its domain.
Twitter users can integrate the Curious Cat service, also available as an Android and iPhone app, into their profile to participate in an anonymous online Q&A community of millions.
Shortly after the platform announced it was losing control of its domain, a series of bizarre events and support responses confused app users who can no longer trust Curious Cat. .
Domain loss followed by strange tweets from “support” staff
The first suspicions of the closure of the Curious Cat service appeared around December 19, when visitors to curiouscat.qa were greeted with a parking page as opposed to the social networking service:
In fact, starting today, direction curiouscat.qa displays a message “Sit tight. We are undergoing maintenance”, with an entirely different kitty logo than the official one of the social platform.
WHOIS records seen by BleepingComputer confirm that around December 18, the domain entered a “pendingDelete” status. A domain enters “pendingDelete” status shortly after a grace period after the domain owner has not renewed the domain.
“Your domain will remain in this status for several days, after which your domain will be purged and deleted from the registry database,” ICANN explains.
“Once deletion is complete, the domain is available for re-registration in accordance with registry policies.”
And, of course, on the 23rd, the domain was registered by someone else, according to WHOIS data, with their nameservers changed.
Four days ago, Curious Cat’s Twitter account posted a warning that they had lost their curiouscat.qa domain due to an “error” and the service was moved to catcurious.me and curiouscat.live areas.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION. https://t.co/9FxwGLf1Nv is lost by our mistake, plus our service.
The new version of the Android app has been released. The old version will not work properly. Please update.
The new version of the iOS app is pending review. The release schedule depends on Apple.
— Curious cat | The Q&A Social Network (@CuriousCatMe) December 27, 2021
A “recovered” app update and a “Korean” support team
Although rare, domain name losses due to administrative errors or failure to renew do occur.
In 2020, Google lost ownership of its blogspot.fr domain after failing to renew it in time. After the domain was taken over by a third party, more than 4.4 million blogspot.in URLs were no longer accessible.
But, in Curious Cat’s case, as if the sudden domain loss itself didn’t budge, the platform’s series of tweets further eroded user trust.
“Looks like whoever is now running the [Curious Cat] count now [is] very different from before. Very direct and has broken English,” states one user, the others agreeing on something that doesn’t match:
Don’t use CuriousCat, the whole site has been hacked and very shady things are likely to happen to you if you use it now.
If you’ve already linked it, disconnect it from your account via Twitter settings. https://t.co/MRWe8mMu87
— Oh! It’s Joe! (@oi_its_joi) December 27, 2021
“What kind of lost support email domain is this, curious cat?” demand another member Jess, referring to an invalid “support” email address in Curious Cat’s Twitter bio:
Another source of confusion was the Spanish staff of Curious Cat who had apparently “left [sic] everything for now.”
Curious Cat’s support team appears to “now” be run by Korean staff, which is believed to be the source of the tweets, although the company’s origins are Spanish, as users have gathered:
But, it’s not over yet. On Google Play, Android app users reported issues after the Curious Cat app was unable to communicate with Twitter’s API, possibly due to broken integration.
Desktop users logging in via their Twitter also reported see similar error messages:
“Callback URL not approved for this client app. Approved callback URLs can be adjusted in your app settings.”
Most likely, Curious Cat’s tweets referring to an updated “reclaimed” app indicated that the platform had restored Twitter API integration after changing its domain name.
However, following a series of such bizarre occurrences, many Curious Cat customers [1, 2, 3, 4] have decided to keep their distance from the service, with some disconnecting Curious Cat from their Twitter until the situation becomes clearer.