Security Experts:

Hijacked Perl.com Domain Hosted on IP Address Linked to Malicious Activity

The Perl.com domain, which since 1997 had been serving articles about Perl programming, was hijacked last week.

Managed by The Perl Foundation, the site had David Farrell as editor, but received contributions for numerous Perl programming language enthusiasts, including Brian Foy, who also authored several books on Perl.

The Perl Foundation announced last week that the domain was hijacked, warning users to steer clear of Perl.com, due to possible connections to sites associated with malware distribution.

“The perl.com domain was hijacked this morning, and is currently pointing to a parking site. […] We encourage you NOT to visit the domain, as there are some signals that it may be related to sites that have distributed malware in the past,” the announcement reads.

Users who might have selected Perl.com as their CPAN mirror are advised to update their mirror in CPAN.pm.

While work is being done to recover the domain, Perl enthusiasts looking for articles on the programming language have been redirected to perldotcom.perl.org, which hosts the content previously present on the hijacked website.

The issue that led to the hijack, Foy explains, was “some snafu with the perl.com domain registration.” Because of that, an unknown party was able to register the domain for the next ten years.

Foy later said the incident apparently involved an "account hack" and it was not an isolated incident, with many other domains impacted.

Shortly after the Perl.com domain was hijacked, The Register found it up for sale on afternic.com (part of GoDaddy) for $190,000. The listing was pulled shortly after.

While Perl.com can no longer be accessed over HTTPS, attempting to visit the HTTP version “sets a few tracking cookies, fetches some JavaScript, and renders as a blank page,” Sophos reveals.

The Google Cloud IP address that Perl.com is now hosted at, namely 35.186.238[.]101, is known to have been used for malware distribution in the past, including for the Locky ransomware, but also as a command and control (C&C) server, BleepingComputer notes.

Although the domain doesn’t appear malicious for the time being, users should refrain from accessing Perl.com until the original registrants are able to regain control of it.

*updated with information on possible account hack and other domains being affected

Related: Over 600 Microsoft Subdomains Can Be Hijacked: Researchers

Related: GitLab Patches Domain Hijacking Vulnerability

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