Thousands of UK Web sites registered with domain name registrar NetNames had their front pages redirected to a rant by hacker Fluffi Bunni this morning.
Jonathan Robinson, chief executive at Net Benefit, which runs the NetNames registration and hosting service, told us that the "majority" of its 100,000 customers had their Web traffic re-routed in the hack. He said the firm was focused on restoring services, which were disrupted for more than an hour before been returned to normal between 10am and 1030am today, than counting the number of people affected.
The hack, which directed surfers to a diatribe entitled "Fluffi Bunni goes Jihad", involved an attack on NetNames' Domain Name System server, according to Robinson.
Fluffi Bunni compromised the network of Net Benefit before sniffing a password and disrupting the firm's DNS server to pull off the attack, he said.
The DNS servers were loaded with the latest version of BIND and the attack was not on them directly, according to Robinson, who added that he was now satisfied its systems were secure.
Register readers have informed us of the numerous Web sites affected by the attack among whom were www.forceinternet.co.uk, www.expressandstar.co.uk, www.ammoweeklybulletin.co.uk, www.discoveryhealth.co.uk, www.clicktomusic.co.uk, Totaljob.com, Vnunet.com, and www.westlife.co.uk. The list goes on.
Aidan Goldstraw, head of Internet development at the Express & Star Wolverhampton, was scathing in his criticism of NetNames.
"The hack affected both our own secondary domain, expressandstar.com, and dozens of other third party sites we host with NetNames Web forwarding arrangements.
"What I found incredible was that no-one at NetNames appeared to have the gumption to pull the network plug out of the back of the machine as soon as they knew what was happening".
He added: "I also find it worrying that a company whose stock-in-trade is domain management could fall prey to what at least appears to be a fairly elementary scripting hack."
Russ Spooner, a security consultant at network security specialists Interrorem, pointed out that a DNS redirection hack was particular embarrassing for Net Benefit, The domain registrar has issued press releases advising firms to protect their online identity, something it has conspicuously failed to do itself in this case.
Mark Read, a professional services consultant at MIS Corporate Defence, accused Net Benefit "as a firm offering Internet services" of failing to do its job properly and protect against hack attacks.
Previous victims of Fluffi Bunni (aka Fluffy Bunny) include the Apache Project and Exodus Communications. The attacks by the group (or individual) operating under the Fluffi Bunni moniker are generally more sophisticated than the average defacements. ®