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Verisign admits 2010 hack attack, mum on what was nicked

SEC filing shows BOFH cover-up

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Verisign has admitted in an SEC filing that it suffered numerous data breaches in 2010, but that management wasn’t informed by staff for nearly a year after they occurred.

In the 10-Q filing, the company said that it suffered multiple data breaches during 2010, and that data was stolen. Exactly what is missing the company isn’t saying, although it believes it was unrelated to the company’s DNS servers. Senior management weren’t told of the attacks until September 2011, the filing claims, but security reporting procedures have since been revamped.

“The Company’s information security group was aware of the attacks shortly after the time of their occurrence and the group implemented remedial measures designed to mitigate the attacks and to detect and thwart similar additional attacks,” the filing reads.

“However, given the nature of such attacks, we cannot assure that our remedial actions will be sufficient to thwart future attacks or prevent the future loss of information. In addition, although the Company is unaware of any situation in which possibly exfiltrated information has been used, we are unable to assure that such information was not or could not be used in the future.”

The company doesn’t say in the filing if the attacks were related to the wave of corporate hacks around that time, thought to originate from China, which took down some of the biggest names in the business, or if they are related to the attack on RSA’s SecureID system.

Symantec, which bought Verisign’s security business in 2010 for $1.28bn, told The Register that it was confident that the security services were not compromised in the attack.

"Symantec takes the security and proper functionality of its solutions very seriously,” said the company in an emailed statement. “The Trust Services (SSL), User Authentication (VIP) and other production systems acquired by Symantec were not compromised by the corporate network security breach mentioned in the Verisign quarterly filing.” ®

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