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NSI Serbian ‘hack’ is simple email spoof

Victim of old-fashioned fraud and deception

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Network Solutions has denied reports that 2,000 dotcom Web sites were hacked by cyberterrorists giving them access to personal and financial information. A senior spokeswoman for Network Solutions in the US told The Register: "Network Solutions seems to have been identified as the villain here -- but we're the victims as well. "Considerably less than 2,000 domains were affected and no financial details were disclosed," she said, referring to a story published by London freebie Metro, although she wouldn't say exactly how many had been hijacked during the last week. The problem appears to be that cyberyobs have discovered a way to spoof Network Solutions into handing over control of a Web site to a third party. This is done, simply it seems, by sending what appears to be a genuine e-mail from the owner of the domain. Network Solutions systems are not hacked, the e-outfit claims. It' s just a case of old-fashioned fraud and deception. According to Network Solutions, people that have signed up to MAIL-FROM -- the lowest protection scheme available for a domain name record and the default system for all registrants -- are the ones at risk from having their sites hijacked. Here, authority to carry out instructions is simply denoted by a valid e-mail address -- or not, as the case may be. A similar method was used by two Turkish football fans to dupe Network Solutions to hand over the keys to Leeds United Football Club's dotcom Web a fortnight ago. They publish an animation of a Galatasaray fan walking up to the Leeds logo, dropping his shorts and urinating on the club's badge. The site was taken down within 24 hours. Network Solutions' spokeswoman refused to comment on individual cases although she said she was aware of the LUFC.com incident. Even so, she maintained that fraudulent e-mails were "not a widespread problem" and that the company had "launched a full investigation" into the matter. She added that there was nothing stopping domain name owners to opt for other, more sophisticated security measures if they want to ensure greater protection. Both an encrypted password systems and a pretty good privacy (PGP) system are available from Network Solutions and both are free of charge. She urged anyone worried about this to visit the Network Solution Web site here. So it seems that those sites that were hacked (The Register's aware of around 50 or so) signed up to a pretty basic security system, a bit like locking up your house and leaving the key under the nearest flower pot. If security was an issue, they should have done more to protect their e-property. Equally, if Network Solutions is serious about this, it must accept that its basic level security system has now been compromised and it should now take action to do something about it. And pronto. ® Related Stories Bertie Ahern in £1m porn scandal, while Serbian hackers go haywire

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