ICANN blames June site hijack on registrar

Though it didn't name the registrar, a WHOIS search fingers Register.com

The international organization that oversees the Web's top-level domain naming system said that the hijacking last month of several of its domains was due to a security breach at the registrar that manages those URLs.

Although it did not name the registrar explicitly, according to WHOIS searches, US-based Register.com manages the domains that were redirected, as well as the primary icann.org and iana.org domains.

Two weeks ago, Turkish hackers rerouted traffic to some of the domains used by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and one of its subsidiary organizations, IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).

Visitors who intended to reach iana.com, iana-servers.com, icann.com and icann.net on June 26 were instead shunted to an illegitimate destination, which displayed a taunting message: "You think that you control the domains but you don't! Everybody knows wrong. We control the domains including ICANN! Don't you believe us?"

Through its IANA subsidiary organization, ICANN manages the DNS root zone and assigns the DNS operators for the Internet's top-level domains, such as .com and .org. DNS, which translates the domains and URLs -- such as computerworld.com -- into IP addresses, is a critical component of the Web's traffic-guiding infrastructure. ICANN, meanwhile, manages the assignment of domain names and IP addresses.

Although an ICANN spokesman provided a terse explanation shortly after the attack, only last week did the organization provide more information. In a statement posted to its Web site last week, ICANN said the attack had been launched against the Internet registrar responsible for the victimized domains, not against the organization itself.

"The DNS redirect was a result of an attack on ICANN's registrar's systems," said ICANN. "A full, confidential, security report from that registrar has since been provided to ICANN with respect to this attack."

According to ICANN, the attack was two-pronged. "It would appear the attack was sophisticated, combining both social and technological techniques, but was also limited and focused," said the organization. "The redirect was noticed and corrected within 20 minutes; however it may have taken anywhere up to 48 hours for the redirect to be entirely removed from the Internet."

While ICANN said it is "confident" that new measures will prevent a repeat embarrassment, it also acknowledged that it has launched an internal review of its security procedures.

Register.com did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?