Feeds

UK WHOIS service suspended after rogue attack

Incoming...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Nominet UK was forced to suspend its WHOIS service last night after a rogue attempt to copy the entire registry of .uk domains.

Spammers are thought to be behind attempts to copy the WHOIS database, attempts which started last week. Last night, though, the attack was so severe that Nominet - the national Registry for all domain names ending .uk - had no choice but to suspend the service.

The service was suspended at 11.00pm and re-started at 7.45am this morning.

The attack appears to have originated from outside the UK and Nominet has already made attempts to try and stop those responsible from continuing with the action.

In a statement Nominet said: "Late yesterday evening, as a result of a distributed and high volume data mining attempt, we were forced to temporarily suspend our public WHOIS service. The service has since been re-started.

"We believe that there is a very persistent person/organisation attempting to gain a detailed copy of the .uk register. This attempt began last week, but increased efforts last night resulted in us needing to take more severe action than previously necessary.

"The data mining attempt operates by systematically querying the WHOIS server using whatever WHOIS proxies they can find. The queries normally take place overnight (GMT) with sometimes hundreds of proxies being commandeered simultaneously for this purpose.

"We apologise to anyone inconvenienced by these events, but trust that members will understand the importance of protecting the .uk register," it said.

Nominet is currently seeking legal advice but is prepared to suspend the WHOIS service again if attacks resume.

In a similar event in the late 1990s, Nominet obtained a High Court injunction to prevent someone from copying its registry of domain names. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?