Feeds

Mass ICQ ‘hack’ baffles world+dog

Accounts sent to deathrow.com

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

We have received evidence which suggests a mass hack of ICQ has taken place - but neither AOL or security experts can come up with an explanation.

A Register reader last week discovered that both of his accounts had suddenly become disconnected and the passwords no longer work. The email addresses for both accounts were changed to 'uin@deathrow.com'.

A search of the ICQ whitepages reveals hundreds of accounts all with that same address (registered in places such as China and Egypt), and we began to suspect some kind of mass hack had been carried out.

We were able to rule out the possibility that our source had given out his passwords in response to a spoofed message, or some other typical script kiddie exploit.

Beyond telling us that it takes security "very seriously" and AOL was unable to shed any light on the issue. Its techies are looking into the issue, we were assured, but after 48 hours they've still to get back to us.

So we contacted AV vendor Sophos and security consultants MIS Corporate Defence. Neither could account for the 'hack', though MIS did point to a hijack exploit dating from 1998, but AOL has since updated its software and we very much doubt this accounts for what has happened.

The problem could possibly be the upshot of a recently discovered remotely exploitable buffer overflow glitch with ICQ, but our source doubts that this is the case, either.

With newer versions of ICQ your contact list gets stored on its server and can be retrieved at any computer with ICQ and the correct password. So if the accounts have been cracked, somebody could harvest this potentially sensitive information.

Deathrow.com appears to be a gaming software company but our emails to it failed to get through, so that avenue of enquiry has yielded a blank.

If anyone has any idea what's happening we'd love to hear about it. This one has left everyone baffled, including us. ®

External links

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.