Feeds

Panix recovers from domain hijack

Chaos for customers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Updated The hijack of its domain name on Friday (14 January) has thrown the operations of a New York ISP into turmoil. Panix staff worked around the clock over the weekend to recover services after the rug was pulled out from under its business.

"Panix's main domain name, panix.com, has been hijacked by parties unknown," the ISP said in a statement on a temporary site Panix.net. "The ownership of panix.com was moved to a company in Australia, the actual DNS records were moved to a company in the United Kingdom, and Panix.com's mail has been redirected to yet another company in Canada."

"For most customers, accesses to Panix using the panix.com domain will not work or will end up at a false site... as a temporary workaround, you can use the panix.net domain in place of panix.com." Panix warned customers that hijackers could have captured passwords inadvertently submitted to the bogus site.

By Sunday, Panix had recovered its Panix.com domain from Australian domain hosting / registration firm Melbourne IT, where the purloined domain was parked, back to its natural home at Dotster. Root servers have already been updated but the distributed nature of the net's Domain Name System means that it will take up to 24 hours before normality is restored fully.

Domain transfer rules that came into effect last November mean that inter-registry transfer requests are automatically approved after five days unless countermanded by the owner of a domain. Contrary to our earlier report speculating that Panix may have fallen foul of these rules, the company said its domain was taken without any warning. Panix, established in 1989 and New York's oldest commercial ISPs, said neither it nor its registrar received any notification of the proposed changes.

Ed Ravin, systems administrator at Panix, added: "Our registrar, Dotster, told us that according to their system, the domain had not been transferred, even though the global registry was pointing at Melbourne IT. Something went wrong with the Internet registry system at the highest levels."

Domain hijacks were a problem even before ICANN's revised rules came into effect. Last September, German police arrested a teenager who admitted hijacking the domain of eBay Germany as part of a "prank". Visitors to eBay Germany were redirected to a site hosted by internet provider Intergenia AG. Netcraft advises users to 'lock up' domain to safeguard against the possibility of "errant transfers". Even this safeguard is not foolproof, according to Panix, which said this precaution had failed to stop its domain been hijacked. ®

Related stories

Phishers suspected of eBay Germany domain hijack
eBay domain hijacker arrested
Penguin and the great katie.com hijack
Penguin backs down on Katie.com
DNS trouble made Microsoft, Yahoo! unavailable
TUCOWs pawn in Internet.com domain theft

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.