Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Comcast Outage Traced to Teenage Hackers

DNS attack left service provider down for five hours

The hackers responsible for Wednesday's attack on Comcast say they were angry with the company, and "wanted to take them out," according to a news report.

Comcast, one of the largest Internet service providers in the U.S., found that its primary Website, Comcast.net, had been defaced at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday. The hackers had redirected the traffic to another Web server, replacing some of the site's content with their own greeting.

Comcast replaced the greeting with an "under construction" message in the wee hours of Thursday morning, as the hackers led Comcast technicians on a merry chase, redirecting traffic to multiple hosts for several hours. Comcast's users were unable to access their email via the site for as long as 12 hours.

Yesterday, the two teenage attackers granted an interview to Kevin Poulsen, a well-known hacker who now writes for Wired magazine. In the interview, the two hackers said they tried to warn Comcast about the vulnerability, but a Comcast engineer scoffed at them, inciting the angry exploit.

"If he wasn't such a prick, he could have avoided all of that," says 19-year-old "EBK," who perpetrated the attack along with his 18-year-old compatriot, who goes by the handle of "Defiant." "I wasn't even really thinking. Plus, I'm just so mad at Comcast."

The report indicates that the teenagers found a vulnerability in Comcast's domain management console at Network Solutions, which also maintains domain names and administration for many other sites. A Network Solutions spokesperson denied the report, stating that "we now know that it was nothing on our end."

The hackers expect to be found and arrested, according to the report.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Attackers Could Use Azure Apps to Sneak into Microsoft 365
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  3/24/2020
Malicious USB Drive Hides Behind Gift Card Lure
Dark Reading Staff 3/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Local Privilege Escalation can occur in PHOENIX CONTACT PORTICO SERVER through 3.0.7 when installed to run as a service.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Insecure, default path permissions in PHOENIX CONTACT PC WORX SRT through 1.14 allow for local privilege escalation.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
An exploitable denial of service vulnerability exists in the GstRTSPAuth functionality of GStreamer/gst-rtsp-server 1.14.5. A specially crafted RTSP setup request can cause a null pointer deference resulting in denial-of-service. An attacker can send a malicious packet to trigger this vulnerability.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
The custom-searchable-data-entry-system (aka Custom Searchable Data Entry System) plugin through 1.7.1 for WordPress allows SQL Injection. NOTE: this product is discontinued.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
GitLab EE/CE 8.11 through 12.9.1 allows blocked users to pull/push docker images.