I witnessed a hostile takeover of a project once which happened "from within". At that point I was no longer very actively involved, but still had good contact with many project contributors, so I saw it happening from the sidelines without actually being involved.
It was an online game project. When the old project founder retired, the server admin who hosted most project resources (website, gameserver, IRC server etc.) became the new leader. Over time, the development team became increasingly unhappy with the new leader due to their general behavior and attitude.
The project team decided that they needed to part with the server-admin and elect a new project leader. But they were quite certain that the admin would likely not agree with any peaceful attempt to replace them. So they decided to do it behind their back. They found a new hoster and over night transferred all project resources to the new host.
The most critical part was the domain name. It was not just the domain of the official website, but also the one the game-client connected to for both updates and for getting the gameserver-list, so the players would play on the server of whoever controlled that domain. That domain was still registred by the retired project founder. They managed to contact them and they agree to the takeover and changed the DNS to point to the new server. Without the domain it likely would not have worked to overtake the identity of the project.
The server hoster was obviously very upset because of the putch behind their back. They flamed a lot, tried to incite the player community and tried to continue their project under the same name but with a different domain. But most parts of the player and development community was loyal to the "putchists". The "original" project under the server admin didn't went anywhere while the project under the new administration continued to flourish.
How could the admin have prevented this?
What I learned from this story is that there are two critical parts of the identity of a project: The domain name and the trademark. Whoever controls these controls the project and the userbase will follow them. The admin could have easily prevented the takeover by trademarking the project name. Control of a trademark means you can also easily gain control the domain name.