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Linux.org Defaced via DNS Hijack

The Linux.org community website was defaced last week after someone gained access to its associated registrar account and modified DNS settings.

The defacement page was changed a few times, but it included an obscene picture, racial slurs, and a protest against the new Linux kernel developer code of conduct. It also showed links and redirected users to a Twitter account (@kitlol5) believed to be operated by the hacker.

The individual behind that Twitter account posted a screenshot showing that they had access to the Network Solutions account of Michelle McLagan, which appeared to own linux.org and several other Linux-related domains.

Linux.org operators revealed that the hacker had broken into their Network Solutions account and pointed the DNS for the linux.org domain to their own CloudFlare account. They highlighted that the actual servers hosting Linux.org and user data were not accessed by the attacker.

The hacker managed to gain access to the Network Solutions account due to the failure of Linux.org administrators to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).

“I think it was a combination of public whois info and no MFA that lead to this,” one of the Linux.org admins explained on Reddit. “There's always one thing - they found the weakest link and exploited it.”

They claim to have enabled MFA on all accounts following the incident and are taking additional measures to prevent future incidents.

Related: Linux Mint Website, Forum Hacked

Related: Gentoo Publishes Incident Report After GitHub Hack

Related: Kernel.org Hacking Suspect Arrested in Florida

Related: User Data Stolen in Ubuntu Forums Breach

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.