United Parcel Service Inc., Betfair Group Plc and Vodafone Group Plc were among companies whose websites were disrupted by an attack that redirected Internet users to a hacking holding page.
Online gaming company Betfair said in an e-mail that there may be problems with traffic “for some hours ahead.” Vodafone’s group website, which doesn’t hold customer data, was also subject to the attack, said Simon Gordon, a spokesman for the world’s biggest mobile-phone company.
The “illegal changes were reversed quickly,” said Stuart Fuller, a spokesman for Group NBT, the U.K. company which hosts the domain registrations. “While no one can completely defend against such sustained and concentrated malicious attacks we will continue to review our systems.”
Hackers changed so-called Domain Name System records without breaching the websites themselves, according to Sophos Ltd., a computer security provider. Consequently, users were taken to a third-party website. Traffic to client websites was redirected to a page branded TurkGuvenligi, NBT said.
UPS, the world’s largest provider of package deliveries, said no customer data was compromised. “A fix is in place, and we expect access to UPS.com to resume to impacted customers within a couple of hours,” Susan Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for Atlanta-based UPS, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Access to the websites of computer-maker Acer Inc. and publications including The Register was disrupted by a hack that redirected users to the home page of the attacker, ZDNet reported. The websites for National Geographic also were affected, Sophos said.
“In many ways we have to be grateful that the message displayed appears to be graffiti,” rather than an attempt to steal information, Sophos said.
“What seems to have happened is that someone changed the lookup, so when you entered Betfair.com into your browser you were instead taken to a website that wasn’t under the control of Betfair,” Jonathan Oates, a spokesman for Betfair said today in a statement.
The corrected entries for the DNS records for the affected websites take time to circulate worldwide, Oates said.
Henry Wang, a spokesman for Taipei-based Acer, said he wasn’t aware of the situation. Washington-based National Geographic Society didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment that were made outside regular business hours.