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Domain poisoning: VeriSign says security was bypassed

April 4 2003

VeriSign says that security at Network Solutions was bypassed by an individual or individuals who changed the domain details for Al Jazeera in order to point the site to a spurious address.

The company also said there was no government role in the Al Jazeera domain poisoning that took place last week. 

Last week the Al Jazeera website was hijacked in such a way that people looking for the site were pointed to a spurious address which showed an American flag and the words "Owned by the USA". 

Brian O'Shaughnessy, of VeriSign's Corporate Communications division, said: "The website in question (Al Jazeera) had its DNS servers redirected on Tuesday last week by individual(s) that were able to circumvent the processes in place at Network Solutions." 

He said Network Solutions discovered the error and then worked to rectify it. "It should be pointed out that the domain name registrants in this case had opted to have the lowest level of security in their original application," O'Shaughnessy said. "They have subsequently opted for the highest level." 

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