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Craigslist visitors were left surprised earlier this week, when browsing the popular classifieds website led them to some unexpected places, reports Gizmodo.
It appears a hacker made changes to the site’s DNS records on 23 November, redirecting visitors to a YouTube rap video, and the website of the video’s owner, DigitalGangster, which The Register reports was “used in 2008 to sell stolen celebrity photos.” The owner of the site and music video – a former hacker – denied any knowledge, stating that he had no idea who was behind the attacks.
He told Slashgear, “It’s some member of my site being a dingus, and I’m probably going to get blamed for it.” The site had so much unwitting traffic that it crashed – Ars Technica even speculates that this may have been the intention, arguing that the hack may have been “intended as a denial of service attack against the forum.”
Craigslist, for its part, posted a short blog statement courtesy of Jim Buckmaster, acknowledging the attack, and advising users flush their DNS if they still cannot reach the site: “At approximately 5pm PST Sunday evening the craigslist domain name service (DNS) records maintained at one of our domain registrars were compromised, diverting users to various non-craigslist sites.”
“This issue has been corrected at the source, but many internet service providers (ISPs) cached the false DNS information for several hours, and some may still have incorrect information,” the statement continued. “If you are unable to reach the craigslist site, please ask your network provider or tech staff to flush all *.craigslist.org and *.craigslist.com entries (A,CNAME,SOA) from their DNS servers.”
While it’s impossible to speculate about the number of visitors affected by the DNS hijack, The Register notes that the YouTube music video that benefited from some of the redirected traffic was up nearly 200,000 views since the attack took place.
Author Alan Martin, ESET