Feeds

Inter-mediates' sites hacked and down

Done and dusted

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

2nd Update We received word that Inter-mediates' vast network of sites had been hacked and were down. The company, most commonly known for its Special Reserve discount store network confirmed there had been "external interference" but declined to comment on whether it was a denial of service attack or a hack.

It looks pretty much like a server hack to us since every site run by Inter-mediates is down. And that's quite a few. A spokesman told us: "Yes they are all down and we don't want to put them back up until we're sure it's safe." He said they hoped to be up and running in the next hour or few hours. He was unwilling to speculate on the reason behind the hack. And we've no idea either.

Among the sites affected are specialreserve.net, ukcomputing, ukgames, ukxbox, ukpokeman, ukn64, ukadvance, ukcdrom, gameaday, plonkers, 1press, upwire (all com and co.uk) - the list just goes on and on.

We'll try to find out why Inter-mediates has been targeted and get back to you.

Update

A reader has sent us a message from the daily radar forum concerning the hacked sites. The message reads: "SpecialReserve.net and all of there domains hosted on there box were 0wned by do0do0 and -V. Some say (mainly the media) that all we do is rm -rf systems when we get access, that all we want to do is cause damage to the systems...this is done to learn and to show the world that no one is secure.. my boy yt showed this and is currently mia.. who will be next? GForce Pakistan? Again, they showed the
world that no one is secure with the .gov and nasa domains they have defaced to get across there message. We think the media don't know what rm -rf is :)
Nothing else to say accept that do0do0 and -V will live on.. Our fans / our haters don't have to worry about that :-)"

It's now about five hours later and Inter-mediate still hasn't managed to get any of its sites up. This looks like a big hacking job. Instead, the same message on a white page has been put up on all the sites. As ever, it has gone for the euphemism "major upgrade".

This is the message: "Special Reserve, GetDotted and Freeola would like to apologise for the unavailability of our web sites at present. We are currently performing a major upgrade to our systems and expect to be back on-line later this afternoon. Special Reserve's Sales Lines are open now on 0870 725 9999 for orders and customer service."

We have also been contacted by Inter-mediates. Its Internet Director said the sites will be up by early evening, and wanted to stress that no customer data had been compromised in the hack.

Security Watch has also got hold of the hacker posting. Have a look here.

The end: Inter-mediates' got all its sites back up at 6.30pm. The company denied that its data had been erased and said the delay was due to caution. The hack was from a group of non-malicious hackers, but
Inter-mediates said it wanted to find the security hole, patch it and make sure there weren't any booby traps, backdoors etc before they put it back online.

On searching for a reason behind the hack, we were given some interesting insider knowledge. One reader put the blame on financial pressure on the company, causing your usual inter-personal unpleasantries. Another pointed out that the company's ISP, Freeola, has recently switched on an authentication system. Apparently, one didn't exist before and had been
subsequently abused. Perhaps people didn't like seeing their easy access removed.

The real reason behind the hack stems from the continuing activity of a range of hacking groups (whose efforts you can find at attrition.org). Part bravado, part an effort to make security issues better known, the groups target sites apparently at random or after a tip-off of a security weakness. As Inter-mediates' Internet director said when we asked if he thought there was a specific motive behind the attack: "No, I think we were just unlucky to be picked." ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.