Vulnerabilities / Threats
2/18/2011
01:54 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-1978
Published: 2015-05-21
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Simple PHP Agenda 2.2.8 and earlier allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) add an administrator via a request to auth/process.php, (2) delete an administrator via a request to auth/admi...

CVE-2015-0741
Published: 2015-05-21
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Cisco Prime Central for Hosted Collaboration Solution (PC4HCS) 10.6(1) and earlier allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users, aka Bug ID CSCut04596.

CVE-2015-0742
Published: 2015-05-21
The Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) application in Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software 9.2(0.0), 9.2(0.104), 9.2(3.1), 9.2(3.4), 9.3(1.105), 9.3(2.100), 9.4(0.115), 100.13(0.21), 100.13(20.3), 100.13(21.9), and 100.14(1.1) does not properly implement multicast-forwarding registrati...

CVE-2015-0746
Published: 2015-05-21
The REST API in Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) 5.5(0.46.2) allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (API outage) by sending many requests, aka Bug ID CSCut62022.

CVE-2015-0915
Published: 2015-05-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in RAKUS MailDealer 11.2.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted attachment filename.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.