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Go Daddy mass hack points surfers towards malware

Password-snaffling miscreants hijack 445 sites

Website security in corporate America

Hundreds of Go Daddy sites were compromised to point towards a site hosting malware last weekend.

The mass hack of around 445 sites involved the injection of hostile code into the .htaccess files of the sites. Go Daddy quickly removed the hostile code before working with its customers to take back full control of the sites, which were reportedly compromised by a password hack.

Go Daddy’s chief information security officer, Todd Redfoot, told Domain Name Wire: "The accounts were accessed using the account holder’s username and password.”

It's unclear how the passwords needed to pull off the attack were obtained, but some sort of targeted phishing attack is one likely explanation. Go Daddy's investigation into the attack continues but Redfoot suggested the blame for the mass hack was outside Go Daddy's control.

"This was not an infrastructure breakdown and should not impact additional customers," he said.

Web security monitoring firm Securi warned of the mass hack on Thursday. Its blog post about the attack suggests the malicious code was targeted towards surfers visiting the affected domains via Google or other search engines rather than those who had arrived directly. Such trickery is often part and parcel of search engine manipulation attacks designed to redirect surfers hunting for content related to items in the news towards scareware portals.

This kind of trickery often takes advantage of insecure WordPress installations and the like, so the apparent use of password-snaffling trickery in this case suggests the bad guys are becoming more aggressive in their hunt for sites they can abuse for their own malicious ends. ®

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