05 September 2015

Bumbling hacktivists deface counterfeit bank Web site

06 March 2014  |  4090 views  |  0 wrong way

A hacking collective which set out to deface the Web site of "Yorkshire Bank" has instead managed to mistakenly take out a Malaysian counterfeit.

Yesterday, hacktivists AnonGhost used Twitter to link to a blog declaring: "Anonghost TeaM has now hacked and defaced Yorkshire Bank, one of the largest United Kingdom bank."

However, as security researchers at Cambridge University noticed, the hackers appear to have been confused by the existence of two separate entities - Yorkshire Bank and Yorkshire Building Society.

The pranksters were aiming for the former, which is owned by Australia's NAB but did not successfully target its Web site ybonline.co.uk. They also missed the latter's ybs.co.uk.

Instead, they landed on a strange hybrid: ybs-bank.com.

On the Light Blue Touchpaper blog, the Cambridge researchers explain that this site claims to belong to the Yorkshire Banking Society. It offers a good, if imperfect, copy of the actual Yorkshire Bank's sister site cbmarkets.co.uk.

The domain is "currently owned by James Edward, a resident of Puchong, Malaysia (a city 6600 miles from Leeds (Yorkshire), getting on for 8 days driving time) and the domain was created in 2011".

AnonGhost are not the first hackers to hit the wrong target. In 2011 pranksters knocked out a fansite for French second division rugby club Dax, mistaking it for Deutsche Börse's Dax portal.

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