Hackers Target Comcast.net

Dennis Faas's picture

Unknown hackers recently targeted the website of the second largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the US, which resulted in the temporary shutdown of Comcast.net. The attack took place around 11pm on May 28, and prevented customers from accessing their Comcast web mail as well as other services provided on the website.

Instead of the website, visitors were greeted by a message reading "KRYOGENIKS EBK and DEFIANT RoXed COMCAST sHouTz To VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven." (Source: cnet.com)

A spokesperson from the company has confirmed that an unauthorized change was made in Comcast's registrar account, which is operated by Network Solutions. The company's technicians were able to revert control of the domain within a few hours but some users continued to experience issues that were being linked to the actions of the hackers. (Source: theregister.co.uk)

Comcast has launched an investigation into the attack in conjunction with law enforcement authorities, to determine how critical passwords fell into the hands of unscrupulous individuals. Access to this sensitive information allowed the hackers to alter the DNS (Domain Name System) servers associated with Comcast.net and redirect visitors instead to the digital graffiti.

Neither Comcast nor Network Solutions has commented on how exactly such critical information was compromised, however speculation is rampant on online forums. Internet security researcher, Dancho Danchev explains that hackers have long tried to trick registrars into revealing sensitive client information. However, he goes on the state that more recently hackers have relied on phishing attacks to seize control of domains. (Source: pcworld.com)

The motive is currently unknown but is being linked to similar attacks on Myspace.com profiles belonging to celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Hillary Duff, and Tila Tequila. An alternative explanation attempts to link this attack to Comcast's policy to throttle the BitTorrent downloads of its users, which may have incited some individuals to retaliate against the company.

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