Practical Technology

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DNS hack attack mutilates multiple Web sites

When I first heard that The Register, a popular United Kingdom, technology news site had been hacked, I was doubtful that the site itself had actually been cracked. The first headline I saw read, The Register Hacked. That isn’t what I saw. To me, it looked like a typical Domain Name System (DNS) hijack attack. I was right. What I didn’t know at the time, though, that more than a hundred Web sites, several of them major ones, were having their addresses redirected to the wrong location.

So, when you went to The Register, or sites such as Coke-Cola, UPS, or the Telegraph newspaper, you were dumped to a black page stating “TurkguvenLigi” and “4Sept. We TurkGuvenLigi declare this day as World Hackers Day- Have fun;) h4ck y0u”. The message changed several times, but it usually just displayed a similar nuisance message, rather than any attempt to steal information from unwary site visitors.

It appears, according to Zone-H, a site that monitors Web site attacks, that at least 186 Websites were attacked. In addition to the ones I already mentioned, other companies that were affected included Adobe, Dell, Microsoft, Harvard University and, oh the irony, security companies BitDefender, F-Secure, and Secunia.

The fact that even security companies were hit by this attack underlines the point though that while you can secure your own site, you can’t secure the Internet. You need to make sure your Internet partners–ISPs and DNS providers–also have their security act together before you can assume that your customers and clients will be able to safely reach your site.

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