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Mitnick site targeted in DNS attack on webhost

"Mantrained"

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A website belonging to security expert Kevin Mitnick was compromised after hackers managed to access a domain name server maintained by the site's webhost and redirect visitors to pages that displayed pornographic images.

It was the second time in the past few years that a security lapse at hostedhere.net has allowed hackers to redirect the site, Mitnick told The Register. At time of writing, domain name system records for Mitnick Security have been restored, but some users continue to see the fraudulent website because many DNS caches still show the incorrect information.

"It's a general pain in the ass for everybody around because my site was redirected and now this webhosting provider has to rebuild all their customer boxes," Mitnick said. "So they're not happy with the hours of work they're going to have to spend doing it."

At time of writing, hostedhere.net was not reachable and representatives were not available for comment.

The attack is the latest to take aim at a prominent security consultant. Last year, accounts belonging to three researchers were ransacked by malicious miscreants who appeared bent on using the stunts to embarrass their targets. In addition to exposing more than 2GB of emails, the attackers also sent explicit porn to the members of a Little League baseball team coached by one victim.

The people behind the attack on Mitnick's site caused it to be redirected to a site that also displayed porn. It showed several men engaging in sex and superimposed a photo that appeared to be of Mitnick. It carried a message that read "All aboard the mantrain."

The attackers never gained access to the server hosting Mitnick's site, and in any event, the site didn't contain customer lists or other sensitive information, said Mitnick, who became a professional security consultant after serving five years in prison on hacking charges filed in the mid 1990s.

Mitnick, whose books include The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders, and Deceivers and The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security, said he planned to switch hosting providers soon.

"They keep getting compromised," he said. "Maybe I'll move it over to Amazon or something and let them attack Amazon." ®

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