Feeds

DNS servers filled with wrong Kool-Aid, big names waylaid in Romania

Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, PayPal all graffiti'd

The essential guide to IT transformation

A hacker today redirected web surfers looking for Yahoo, Microsoft or Google to a page showing a TV test card by apparently poisoning Google's public DNS system.

Punters and organisations relying on Google's free service were affected, rather than the websites themselves being compromised.

Visitors to yahoo.ro, microsoft.ro and google.ro were served a message from an Algerian miscreant using the moniker MCA-CRB. Traffic destined for the Romanian websites of Kaspersky Lab and Paypal was also hijacked. Affected web browsers were pointed to a frankly boring message resembling nothing more than a test card and an animated GIF background.

MCA-CRB is a prolific online graffiti artist who has defaced at least 5,000 sites, according to records kept by Zone-H. The latest attack was carried out to gain bragging rights rather than to trouser a profit or stage a political protest.

Costin Raiu, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said "the problem is with the Google free DNS servers (8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4) not with the DNS servers for the specific domains". His colleague Stefan Tanase believes Google's public DNS servers were tricked into giving out the wrong IP addresses for the affected domains; one way this attack can be pulled off is by poisoning the web giant's DNS cache with bogus entries.

Other experts think the problem originates further up the food chain at Romania's TLD servers.

Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Romanian antivirus firm Bitdefender, explained: "The breach appears to have initially originated at the Romanian TLD, from where the compromised DNS records propagated to DNS cache servers. We believe that the RoTLD breach was carried in a similar manner as in the Pakistani hack. It is only a supposition, but all signs point to the same group."

Last week, defaced copies of Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, eBay and Apple's Pakistan websites were shown to surfers, again as a result of a DNS hijack. Hackers latched onto vulnerabilities at PKNIC, a Pakistani domain name registrar, and altered records to pull off the attack, Softpedia reported.

Access to the affected Romanian sites was restored by Wednesday lunchtime, except Paypal.ro which proved difficult to reach in any case.

DNS systems translate human-friendly domain names, such as theregister.co.uk, to internet addresses that routers and servers can understand and process. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.