World hacking record on the WWW?

— 12:00 AM on April 17, 2000

An interesting little story over at describes the "hacking" (their word, not mine) of anywhere from 50 to over 2000 web sites, depending on who you believe. I don't think the author of the article really comprehends what's going on here; they start off talking about how hackers "got into" the web sites, then "stripped [the sites] of their content, and branded [them] . . ."

If the hackers really did all that, and hacked all those sites in such a short amount of time, you've gotta admit it's pretty impressive. Read a little further, however, and you get a better idea of what actually happened. It seems that all the sites' domain names were registered with Network Solutions, and all had chosen the lowest security option for domain registration changes. That is, when the domains were registered, the purchasers of the domains agreed that an e-mail from a certain address was all the permission required to change the location to which the domain points.

Well, you can guess what happened; the hackers in question sent an e-mail to Network Solutions requesting a change, spoofed the e-mail address to match the proper one, and that was that; all of the affected domains were pointing to a new server with a political message. It's worth noting, however, that the "hackers" didn't break into any of the targeted sites' web servers, didn't alter any content on them, and probably didn't even attempt to do those things. I'm somewhat surprised this hasn't been tried (on a large scale) before now, really. But let's not call an e-mail spoofer a web server hacker, 'kay?

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