Feeds

Potty-mouthed hackers steal comcast.net keys, go for a spin

Users redirected to rogue site

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Unknown hackers hijacked Comcast's domain name for three hours overnight, sending subscribers who tried to access webmail and other services to a rogue site that bragged of the exploit.

Comcast lost control of the comcast.net address after the attackers changed registration information stored by its domain registrar, Network Solutions, a Comcast spokesman said. The unauthorized change redirected people attempting to visit the site to a page that read: "KRYOGENIKS Defiant and EBK RoXed COMCAST. sHouTz To VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven." The page was displayed after the attackers altered the site's IP resolution information, replacing Comcast's IP address with the rogue address 209.62.20.186.

Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas said there was no immediate evidence that the attackers' page tried to install malware or steal user credentials. But some participants in this DSLReports forum reported their email clients were redirected to the impostor address, prompting concern their login sequence could have been intercepted. Douglas said security people are still investigating.

Comcast engineers restored the correct domain name settings about three hours after they were altered. By late Thursday morning, comcast.net was accessible to most people. But some users, including some with private DNS servers that hadn't been updated, still got errors. (Windows users who are getting errors may want to try flushing their DNS cache using using the command "ipconfig /flushdns", sans the quotes.)

It's still unclear how the attackers accessed the registration settings on store with Network Solutions. A brute force password attack is one possibility, but you'd think Network Solutions has safeguards in place to detect thousands of unsuccessful login attempts. A Network Solutions spokeswoman said the company is working with Comcast to figure out how the hackers obtained the login credentials to the account.

The ability of unknown hackers to hijack the domain name of one of America's biggest internet providers is yet another reminder of the fragility of the net's domain name system. While DNS attacks in recent years have focused on more esoteric methods such as cache poisoning and DNS rebinding, the attack shows that old-fashioned account compromises are also sufficient to alter substantial amounts of web traffic.

Douglas said Comcast is working with unnamed law enforcement agencies to track down the attackers.

Little is known about the interlopers, except for a few traces left behind that hint at some sophomoric sensibilities. In addition to their cryptic defacement, they altered the address for Comcast's administrative contact to "69 dick tard lane, dildo room." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
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
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it
Keep in mind if, say, your Onion browser craps out on Xfinity
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.