The Sryrian Electronic Army claimed control over the domain Facebook.com Wednesday night, likely through hacking into the domain administrator account at the social network's domain registrar.
In a Tweet Wednesday evening, the hackers wished Mark Zuckerberg a happy birthday, along with an extra note: "Happy Birthday Mark! Facebook.com owned by #SEA," the Tweet read.
The domain information below is what showed as of 6:35 EST. The hackers appeared to modify the three primary registrant contacts, though the domain name servers did not appear to have been modified.
The image of the domain contact details below was a screenshot taken by SecurityWeek:
Update: As of 7:00PM the registrant contact details were restored to "firstname.lastname@example.org", indicating that MarkMonitor and Facebook were able to react quickly before any damage was done.
The hackers said that in response to being hacked, MarkMonitor took down the domain management portal and posted this alleged screenshot:
The company's registrar, MarkMonitor, is steward to many of the Internet's biggest brands and does have strong security policies and options in place. It's likely that while the attackers may have accessed an admin account, the ability to change the DNS records may require further authenication, but that is unclear. However, the hackers did make a follow-up post to Twitter saying they did change the namesevers. "We changed the nameservers, but it's taking too much time..," the Tweet said.
When asked about a similar incident targeting PayPal's UK domain over the weekend, MarkMonitor told SecurityWeek that it does take security seriously but is unable to comment. "We also have a policy where we never comment on clients - including neither comfirming nor denying if a company is a client," a MarkMonitor spokesperson told SecurityWeek on Saturday.
The Syrian Electronic Army has been responsible for several recent attacks, including one domain attack last week against PayPal, and others last year that targeted the AFP’s Twitter account and three CBS News accounts, all in support of Syria’s President Assad. In May, the group hacked into the Associated Press's Twitter account and falsely reported that President Barack Obama had been injured after two blasts at the White House.
Last month, the group was assumed to be behind an attack against Microsoft in an incident where attackers breached the email accounts of a “select number” of employees, and obtained access to documents associated with law enforcement inquiries.