A Brazilian hacker with the Twitter handle @AnonymousOwn3r has taken credit for a substantial cyber attack against domain host GoDaddy. Millions of web pages hosted by GoDaddy and even domain names simply registered through the service were affected.
As of 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time Monday, the attack was 5 hours old. The New York Times‘s “Bits” blog gives some idea of just how much trouble this epic attack has caused:
Go Daddy customers vented their frustration on Twitter and elsewhere. Bob DeLuna, director of public information at the United Hospital Fund, a nonprofit health organization, said four domain names it had registered with Go Daddy had been down for three hours. He said that when he contacted GoDaddy’s customer service line, a representative said that 750 people were waiting in line behind him. She told him that during service outages, the typical wait list was 20 people.
For his part, @AnonymousOwn3r seems to be enjoying the chaos, tweeting multiple links and chatting with angry and admiring fellow tweeters. He appeared to explain his motives in a response to a question from a follower:
@film_girl I’m taking godaddy down bacause well i’d like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not talk now
— Anonymous Own3r (@AnonymousOwn3r) September 10, 2012
AnonymousOwn3r has also claimed responsibility for a Facebook outage in May. In tweets posted at the time he said he’d attacked the social networking site because Facebook was “blocking google crhome,” (sic) for which he gave them “a #tangodown.”
AnonymousOwn3r appears to have made a habit of posting snippets of contentious IRC chats with other hackers on Pastebin.com.
If the conversations posted on Pastebin are to be believed, AnonymousOwn3r often appears to use the nick “Own3r-anon” in IRC. In this exchange published on May 17, 2012, the hacker wanted to know why he was not part of a hacking group calling itself @AnonATeam.
Addressing at least three others in the chat, AnonymousOwn3r wrote, “you guys can’t do nothing without me.” Two fellow hackers agreed but after one told him, “Own3r-anon your ego is amazing,” another said, “our team is noobs and kids […] we dont deserve u.”
Eventually AnonymousOwn3r wrote, “I have power to down a entire country.”
A fourth hacker responded, “Thats the prob Own3r. You do have the power. you are a great member to have on the team. but just cause you have the power doesnt mnean you have to use it.”
On June 7th, this tweet appeared on @AnonAteam’s Twitter account:
This profile has been hacked by: Own3r!
— AnonAteam (@AnonAteam) June 7, 2012
Meanwhile, GoDaddy has posted a message on its home page acknowledging the outages and stating that service to many sites was restored by 5:45 p.m. In bold it asserts that “At no time was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised.” GoDaddy further states it will provide another update “within the next 24 hours.”