On Thanksgiving, a number of new media websites were attacked with pop up messages which promoted the Syrian Electronic Army hacking group. Out of those which were attacked consisted of two UK newspapers which were the Independent and the Telegraph along with CNBC, the Boston Globe and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The attack however was a very indirect one and one which was relied on an internet-address switch which involved the services provided by Gigya which is a start-up handling customer identity matters.
This attack was seen to be a variation to the Syrian Electronic Army methods attacks conducted before. While the group was unable to get access to the Gigya servers, it did manage to redirect internet traffic to the website to their own server. The servers showed the message that they had been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. According to The Independent, the redirection took place after the DNS Internet address records of Gigya were altered through another website called GoDaddy which handles such matters.
Gigya reassured their customers that the issue had been taken care of and no harm was committed. The company’s chief executive stated that data belonging to any user, any administrative or operational data; none of it had been compromised.
However the attack which was seen by many users shows the kind of influence a hacking group can have without gaining access to detailed customer data. And with attacks on other companies such as Home Depot, Target and Neiman Marcus still on people’s minds, everyone has a right to be on edge.
With the attack by the Syrian Electronic Army on Viber and Forbes, some customer data has been lost. Along with these, other news media have also been the victims of attack.
Gigya has high levels of security around user data and the services provided. Additional measures have also been put in place to protect the data against any such future attack.
It was through a Twitter account that the Syrian Electronic Army claimed credit for the attack and showed a screenshot of the DNS record of GoDaddy for Gigya.