Hackers attending the annual Defcon hacker convention started as they meant to go on with one group embarking on a prolific defacement spree that claimed the scalps of 679 sites in just one minute.
In the run-up to the Vegas conference, cracking group World of Hell defaced a host of sites including computercrime.edu, various commercial sites and the home page of Latino singer Ricky Martin and a page featuring images of supermodel Kate Moss. A record of the defacements has been mirrored by Safemode.org here.
The Web admins of most of the sites repaired them, but RaFa of WoH reports that few applied patches to secure servers, so sites were just as vulnerable the following day.
Paul Rogers, network security analyst at MIS corporate Defence, said the servers exploited used both IIS and Apache, suggesting the defacement was quite carefully planned and probably used a script that ran a number of exploits at once at servers already identified as vulnerable.
Hacking so many sites at once (if RaFa is to be believed) was probably a case of WoH trying to put one up on their counterparts, since it no longer seems to be much of an achievement outfoxing a Web admin.
By the Saturday of Defcon, World of Hell were obviously getting bored and RaFa reports that "Cowhead2000 of WoH, Rat of soldierx (arrested), Floyd and v0id got busted" for prizing a gold pay phone off the wall at the Defcon conference. You can see a picture of this here.
Perhaps the group were annoyed that a record of their defacement wasn't recorded for posterity. Defacement archive Alldas.de reports that it has been subject to another distributed denial of service attack over the weekend.
The tone of a story on its site is one of glum resignation.
"The core routers had to handle traffic of like 600mbit, which was obviously too much. Our upstream provider decided to nullroute us, due to this practically nobody was able to visit us or send us mail," a notice on the site states.
Alldas is now considering moving ISP but it places no blame for its recent difficulties on its service provider, and tries to appeal to the better natures of its tormentors.
"We could use this time in a better way then solving these kind of problems, like enhancing our stats - obviously someone doesn't like that," the notice states. "We're not dead... yet."
The unavailability of Alldas.de meant that the defacement of a high profile security organisation went relatively unnoticed.
A cracker called Fluffi Bunni defaced the Web site of the Sans (System Administration, Networking, and Security) Institute and posed the question "would you really trust these guys to teach you security."
Sans has changed ISP since the attack indicating that it, at least, thinks the fault lies there, but the question Fluffi Bunni posed will give pause for thought among security professionals long after Defcon 9 is a distant memory. There aren't any easy answers to this one... ®