Millions of dynamic DNS users suffer after Microsoft seizes No-IP domains

Millions of legitimate servers that rely on dynamic domain name services from No-IP.com suffered outages on Monday after Microsoft seized 22 domain names it said were being abused in malware-related crimes against Windows users.

Microsoft enforced a federal court order making the company the domain IP resolver for the No-IP domains. Microsoft said the objective of the seizure was to identify and reroute traffic associated with two malware families that abused No-IP services. Almost immediately, end users, some of which were actively involved in Internet security, castigated the move as heavy handed, since there was no evidence No-IP officially sanctioned or actively facilitated the malware campaign, which went by the names Bladabindi (aka NJrat) and Jenxcus (aka NJw0rm).

"By becoming the DNS authority for those free dynamic DNS domains, Microsoft is now effectively in a position of complete control and is now able to dictate their configuration," Claudio Guarnieri, co-founder of Radically Open Security, wrote in an e-mail to Ars Technica. "Microsoft fundamentally swept away No-IP, which has seen parts of its own DNS infrastructure legally taken away."

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Active malware operation let attackers sabotage US energy industry

Symantec

Researchers have uncovered a malware campaign that gave attackers the ability to sabotage the operations of energy grid owners, electricity generation firms, petroleum pipelines, and industrial equipment providers.

Called Dragonfly, the hacking group managed to install one of two remote access trojans (RATs) on computers belonging to energy companies located in the US and at least six European countries, according to a research report published Monday by Symantec. One of the RATs, called Havex, was spread by hacking the websites of companies selling software used in industrial control systems (ICS) and waiting for companies in the energy and manufacturing industries to install booby-trapped versions of the legitimate apps.

"This campaign follows in the footsteps of Stuxnet, which was the first known major malware campaign to target ICS systems," the Symantec report stated. "While Stuxnet was narrowly targeted at the Iranian nuclear program and had sabotage as its primary goal, Dragonfly appears to have a much broader focus with espionage and persistent access as its current objective with sabotage as an optional capability if required."

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