ICANN Falls Victim To Spear Phishing Attack, Zone Database Compromised

ICANN, a non-profit organization that is responsible for looking after the names and domains of the Internet, announced that it has suffered a serious phishing attack that compromised its data.

An investigation is underway, but ICANN believes that it was the victim of a “spear phishing” attack that was first initiated last month. Fake email messages that appeared to come from the company’s own domain had been sent to employees. As a result of the attack, the email credentials of several ICANN staff members were compromised.

In addition, 
ICANN stated that its Centralized Zone Data System, which includes personal user detail information such as names and addresses, was compromised as well. The ICANN Wiki also had information extracted along with the ICANN Blog and ICANN WHOIS information portal. 

ICANN Offics
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Вени Марковски)

The organization went on to say that it is “not aware of any other systems that have been compromised” and that it has confirmed the attack did not impact any of its IANA-related systems.

ICANN began enhancing its security earlier this year in an effort to strengthen its systems against attacks. While it appears that the new enhancements were not enough to prevent this phishing attack, the organization believes that the enhancements did help in limiting unauthorized access. In response to this event, ICANN says that it has implemented additional security measures.