Dec 222009
 

Losing control of your domain name can happen to anyone.  As was seen last night, Twitter.com, lost control of their domain name for a short while.  Someone calling themselves the “Iranian Cyber Army” managed to redirect the Twitter.com home page to a different page.   “How can I prevent this from happening to me?”, you ask.

You need to take care in not sharing your DNS (domain name server) user name and password with anyone.   The DNS setting tells the servers that make up the Internet how to translate your domain name to the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the host server for your Web site.  If someone changes these settings then your domain will display the home page of a different server and you will no longer have control of the content.

According to the Twitter.com Blog, this is exactly what happened last night.  The problem was noticed quickly and resolved within about 90 minutes.

You also need to choose a user name and password that isn’t easily guessed or discovered through trial and error.  You may not have a choice in the user name, but you can usually choose a strong password that makes guessing or using brute force methods more difficult.

Some tips for developing a strong password include using upper-case, lower-case, numbers and special characters, making long passwords and avoiding the use of easily discovered personal information or words straight out of the dictionary.  And finally, don’t store these passwords, memorize them if possible. For a more thorough list of tips please check out the US-CERTS  Web site.

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