Friday, May 30, 2008

Comcast.net not Hacked, DNS Records Hijacked

Two days ago in a show off move, the Kryogenics team managed to change the DNS records of Comcast.net, and consequently, redirect traffic to third-party servers, which in this incident only served a defaced-looking like page, and denied email services to Comcast's millions of email users for a period of three hours.

The message they appear to have left at the first place, is actually hosted on third-party servers and reads :

"KRYOGENIKS EBK and DEFIANT RoXed COMCAST sHouTz To VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven"

Comcast's changed whois records looked like this, and were restored to their original state approximately three hours later :

Administrative Contact:
Domain Registrations,
Comcast
kryogenicsdefiant@gmail.com
Defiant still raping 2k8 ebk 69 dick
tard lane
dildo room
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103

US 4206661870 fax: 6664200187

The hacked page was loading from the following locations :
freewebs.com/buttpussy69
freewebs.com/kryogeniks911
defiants.net/hacked.html

Comcast's comments :
"
Last night users attempting to access Comcast.net were temporarily redirected to another site by an unauthorized person," he says. "While that issue has been resolved and customers have continued to have access to the Internet and email through services like Outlook, some customers are currently not able to access Comcast.net or Webmail." Douglas says that network engineers continue to work on the issue. "We believe that our registration information at the vendor that registers the Comcast.net domain address was altered, which redirected the site, and is the root cause of today's continued issues as well," he says. "We have alerted law enforcement authorities and are working in conjunction with them."

Network Solutions comments :
"
Somebody was able to log into the account using the username and password. It was an unauthorized access," said spokeswoman Susan Wade. "It wasn't like somebody hacked into it. The Network Solutions account was not hacked. "They ping us and say this is my domain and say, 'I'd like to reset my password,'" Wade said. "It could have been compromised through e-mail. They could have gotten it if they acted as the customer. We're not clear."

"Pinging a domain registrar" has been around since the early days of the Internet, and it's obviously still possible to socially engineer one in 2008. A recently released ICANN advisory on the topic of registrar impersonation phishing attacks provides a decent overview of the threat, and in Comcast's case, I think someone impersonated Comcast in front of Network Solutions compared to the other way around, namely someone phished the person possessing the accounting data at Comcast, by making them think it's Network Solutions contacting them.

With Comcast.net now back to normal
, the possibilities for abusing the redirected traffic given that the content was loading from web sites they controlled are pretty evident. And despite that there are speculations the hijack is courtesy of the BitTorrent supporters, in this case, the motivation behind this seem to have been to prove that it's possible.

UPDATE :
An interview with the hijackers including a screenshot of the control panel for over 200 Comcast operated domains is available.