Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/18/2011
01:54 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

ICE Confirms Inadvertent Web Site Seizures

Authorities are reviewing what happened to prevent a similar misstep in the future.

Top 10 Government Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Government Stories Of 2010

A child pornography investigation led to the unintentional temporary shutdown of thousands of lawfully operating Web sites last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed.

"During the course of a joint DHS and DOJ law enforcement operation targeting 10 Web sites providing explicit child pornographic content, a higher level domain name and linked sites were inadvertently seized for a period of time," an ICE spokepserson said in an e-mailed statement. "Those sites were restored as soon as possible to normal functionality."

The execution of seizure warrants against the 10 Web sites was lauded by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and other officials earlier this week.

News of the collateral damage arising from the domain seizure was first reported by TorrentFreak, an online news site focused on copyright issues. The report claims that 84,000 Web subdomains associated with mooo.com -- a shared domain operated by afraid.org -- were rendered inaccessible.

A spokesperson for afraid.org's Free DNS service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Affected sites were down for about three days, during which time visitors would have seen a notice stating that the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security had seized the domain and that advertising, distribution, possession, transportation, and receipt of child pornography is a federal crime.

The government-directed denial of service prevented about 1000 people in their attempts to view child pornography through these non-affiliated sites, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The agencies involved are reviewing the circumstances of the seizure operation in an effort to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, while careful to acknowledge the legitimacy of removing child porn sites, has condemned the collateral damage to Web sites that were operating lawfully. The cyber rights organization urged legislators mulling expanded copyright enforcement powers not to enact rules likely to result in similar harm when applied with insufficient precision.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Crowdsourced vs. Traditional Pen Testing
Alex Haynes, Chief Information Security Officer, CDL,  3/19/2019
BEC Scammer Pleads Guilty
Dark Reading Staff 3/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
Organizations are responding to new threats with new processes for detecting and mitigating them. Here's a look at how the discipline of incident response is evolving.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-9962
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-24
XnView MP 0.93.1 on Windows allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via a crafted file, related to VCRUNTIME140!memcpy.
CVE-2019-9963
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-24
XnView MP 0.93.1 on Windows allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via a crafted file, related to ntdll!RtlFreeHeap.
CVE-2019-9964
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-24
XnView MP 0.93.1 on Windows allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via a crafted file, related to ntdll!RtlpNtMakeTemporaryKey.
CVE-2019-9965
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-24
XnView MP 0.93.1 on Windows allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via a crafted file, related to ntdll!RtlReAllocateHeap.
CVE-2019-9966
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-24
XnView Classic 2.48 on Windows allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via a crafted file, related to xnview+0x38536c.