GoDaddy Breach Exposes Website Redirection Vulnerability: Here’s What You Need To Know

GoDaddy recently revealed that they had been breached by a malicious actor over the course of several years. This breach exposed a vulnerability in their website redirecting system, which could have been used to direct users to malicious sites. In this article, we’ll discuss what happened and what you need to know to protect your own websites.

Overview of GoDaddy Breach

In September 2019, GoDaddy suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of its customers. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in the company’s website redirection service, which allowed hackers to redirect users to malicious websites. This resulted in the theft of customer information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. GoDaddy has since patched the vulnerability and is offering free credit monitoring and identity protection services to affected customers.

Impact of the Breach on User Websites

Several high-profile websites were affected by the GoDaddy breach, including news site The Daily Beast and social media platform Tumblr. The incident highlights how vulnerable website owners can be to cyberattacks, especially when they entrust their sites to a large and low budget hosting provider.

The Daily Beast was forced to take its website offline for several hours after the breach was discovered. During that time, visitors to the site were redirected to a malicious website that appeared to be a replica of The Daily Beast’s homepage. Thankfully, no sensitive user data was compromised in the attack.

Tumblr also fell victim to the GoDaddy breach, although the extent of the damage is not yet known. What is clear is that some Tumblr users were able to access other users’ accounts and view sensitive information such as private messages and account details. Tumblr has since taken steps to secure its platform and is working with law enforcement to investigate the incident.

These high-profile breaches serve as a reminder of just how important it is for website owners to take steps to protect their sites from attacks. Even if you entrust your site to a large and well known hosting provider, you are not immune from cyber threats. Be sure to keep your site’s software up-to-date and consider investing in additional security measures such as two-factor authentication or a web application firewall.

How the Breach Occurred

It all started when a hacker going by the name of “Nimda” posted a proof-of-concept exploit for a zero-day vulnerability in GoDaddy’s website redirection feature on Pastebin. The exploit allowed anyone to redirect any GoDaddy-hosted website to another site of their choosing, simply by changing the “A” record for that domain in GoDaddy’s DNS management interface.

So, if you were to type in “example.com” into your browser, and “nimda” had changed the A record for that domain to point to his own server, you would be taken to his server instead of example.com. This could be used to serve up malicious content, or just for general mischief (like redirecting people from well-known sites to porn).

Fortunately, the issue was fixed by GoDaddy once they were made aware of it. However, it highlights a serious security flaw in their systems that could have been exploited by more malicious hackers had it not been discovered and patched.

What Website Owners Can Do to Protect Against Future Breaches

As a website owner, there are a few things you can do to protect against future breaches. First, make sure your website is up to date with the latest security patches. Second, use a strong password for your website admin panel. Third, use two-factor authentication for your website admin panel. This will add an extra layer of security and make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your website. Finally, consider using a web application firewall (WAF) to protect your website from malicious traffic. All these features and many more are included with your Complete Managed Hosting, and Web Presence services. To learn more about how we approach managed hosting give us a call at: 859-200-0428.

Conclusion

If your website is hosted on GoDaddy, it’s important that you take the time to review their recent breach and understand how this vulnerability works. It’s also a good idea to make sure any other websites you use are secure, as well as be aware of potential scams and phishing attempts related to this security breach. By taking the necessary precautions, you can help protect yourself against any malicious activity related to the GoDaddy breach.

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