Threatwatch

Hacker reroutes Syrian Web surfers to U.S. and German telecom sites

Unauthorized use of system administrator privileges; Man-in-the-middle attack

Visitors to the website of a Syrian telecom provider wound up on AT&T’s site, and then T-Mobile’s, as part of an “apparent prank by a hacker who has been probing the country's Internet infrastructure for several days,” Techworld reports.

The outsider likely rigged the Domain Name System record for the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, or STE. The hack emulates one that affected NYTimes.com, Twitter, Sharethis and others on 8/27, when their domain names were pointed to an IP address controlled by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of pro-Assad hacktivists.

The DNS server used by STE also runs several other Web services, said Andree Toonk, founder of the network monitoring company, BGPmon.net. "It's not unlikely the attacker gained access to this machine exploiting one of these services," Toonk said.

The attack on STE also modified the organization's mail exchange records, which are used to route email messages.

At one point, STE's mail exchange record pointed to a domain in Israel. The record was then changed to point to a mail server run by Iran's presidential office.

“Then the hacker changed it once more to ‘oliver.tucket.boom.’ On Wednesday, The Washington Post published an interview with a person going by the pseudonym ‘Oliver Tucket,’ who took credit for a series of attacks on the Syrian's government's infrastructure.

The Post identified him as an American white-collar worker who has sought to embarrass President Bashar al-Assad's regime. A Twitter account, @olivertuckedout, showed several tweets on Sunday claiming attacks against Syria. The person running that Twitter account could not immediately be reached.”

ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.

sector

Telecommunications

reported

August 29, 2013

reported by

Techworld

number affected

Unknown

location of breach

Syria

perpetrators

Hacktivists

location of perpetrators

Unknown

date breach occurred

August 2013

date breach detected

August 2013