Epson's New Zealand website has joined that of Microsoft in being defaced by the Prime Suspectz group, which specialises in attacking Windows NT sites around the world.
The Epson site was apparently attacked overnight, with a similar message left to that on the Microsoft site the previous night. It is now back to normal. The companies have joined a long line of Prime Suspectz victims, in cluding Microsoft Brazil and Slovenia and a host of corporates.
The group, which may be South America-based, exclusively attacks Windows NT-based sites. A newsgroup posting made in the hours following the Microsoft attack lists the previous exploits of the group. There are is also at least one site still carrying a defaced page. Should somebody tell Tourism Malaysia?
Tuesday night's attack was news on the other side of the world before local Microsoft staff had even woken: the UK IT news site The Register reported the hack under the heading 'Microsoft Web site hacked in Kiwiland' at about 4am New Zealand time.
The site's front page was replaced by an eccentrically-spelt message that began: "Oh!! What's happened? Another Micro$oft was hacked? 'The vulnerability is completely teoretical.' !! I don't think so!! Security wuz broke'n."
Microsoft acknowledged yesterday day that the breach exploited "a known security issue for which a patch exists," but said the only site affected was www.microsoft.co.nz/directaccess, which Microsoft technical manager Richard Burte says was the only one hosted at microsoft.co.nz and "no customer data or Microsoft-sensitive information located on the site. The Direct Access web site cannot be used to gain access to the Microsoft corporate network or the main Microsoft web sites www.microsoft.com or www.microsoft.com/nz."
The affected site is hosted by Auckland's Terabyte Interactive and is not part of Microsoft's corporate network. Burte says a "mixture" of staff from both Microsoft and Terabyte are responsible for maintaining it.
Burte says information has been gathered and passed on to Microsoft's corporate security team.