12|17|2014 11:18 am EDT
A number of ICANN’s staff email accounts have been compromised by a phishing attack, which lead to administrative passwords to other systems being exposed as well, as Necraft reports.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has fallen victim to a phishing attack which resulted in the attackers gaining administrative access to some of ICANN’s systems, including its Centralized Zone Data Service (CZDS).
In an email alert sent this morning, ICANN said it believes a spear phishing attack in November resulted in several ICANN staff members’ email credentials being compromised. The stolen passwords were then used to gain unauthorised access to multiple ICANN systems, which could have resulted in other usernames and passwords being compromised.
Although CZDS passwords are stored as salted hashes, ICANN has taken the precaution of deactivating passwords and API keys used on the compromised CZDS service. ICANN implemented some security enhancements earlier this year, which it believes limited the extent of the unauthorised access, and has implemented further measures since this attack.
Here’s the email that ICANN wrote to users of is CZDS:
ACTION REQUIRED: CZDS Security Disclosure ICANN is investigating a recent intrusion into our systems. We believe a â€œspear phishingâ€ attack was initiated in late November 2014. It involved email messages that were crafted to appear to come from our own domain being sent to members of our staff. The attack resulted in the compromise of the email credentials of several ICANN staff members. In early December 2014 we discovered that the compromised credentials were used to access certain ICANN systems including the Centralized Zone Data Service (CZDS). You are receiving this notice because the attacker obtained administrative access to all files in the CZDS including copies of the zone files in the system. The information you provided as a CZDS user might have been downloaded by the attacker. This may have included your name, postal address, email address, fax and telephone numbers, and your username and password. Although the passwords were stored as salted cryptographic hashes, we have deactivated your CZDS password (and API key if applicable) as a precaution. Additional information about the attack is included in an announcement that is posted at https://www.icann.org/news. In order to continue using CZDS, please visit http://czds.icann.org and follow the instructions there to request a new password. We suggest that you take appropriate steps to protect any other online accounts for which you might have used the same username and/or password. This notice was not delayed as a result of a law enforcement investigation. Earlier this year, ICANN began a program of security enhancements in order to strengthen information security for all ICANN systems. We believe these enhancements helped limit the unauthorized access obtained in the attack. Since discovering the attack, we have implemented additional security measures. We are providing information about this incident publicly, not just because of our commitment to openness and transparency, but also because sharing of cybersecurity information helps all involved to assess threats to their systems. If you would like further assistance or information, you may contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at +1-424-277-3192 or U.S. toll-free at +1-800-401-1703. Thank you for your attention to this. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you. ICANN Registry Services