ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers organization that oversees internet domain names, has been hacked. In late November 2014 they were targeted with a spear phishing attack, and then this month they discovered that the compromised credentials were used to access other ICANN systems besides email. This included the Centralized Zone Data System.
In email I received today (because I have access to the Centralized Zone Data System), ICANN explained the situation.
The attacker obtained administrative access to all files in the CZDS. This included copies of the zone files in the system, as well as information entered by users such as name, postal address, email address, fax and telephone numbers, username, and password.
If you have access or have had access to the Centralized Zone Data System, then your account has been disabled and you’ll need to obtain a new password in order to access the CZDS.
The email sent out be ICANN is below:
Date: December 16, 2014 at 11:38:19 PM CST
Subject: ACTION REQUIRED: CZDS Security Disclosure
ACTION REQUIRED: CZDS Security Disclosure
ICANN is investigating a recent intrusion into our systems. We believe a “spear phishing” 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
The Centralized Zone Data Service is service that provides to the Zone Files provided by participating Top Level Domains (TLDs). The zone files list the domain names that have been registered. In order to get access to the CZDS, you must explain your need for the data and what you will do with it.