The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a well-known hacker group, announced on Wednesday, February 5th, that they had “hacked the domain name registration information for social networking giant Facebook” which had “no effect” on them or their members, according to an article published by independent tech news agency Re/code. The article indicates that the effect of the attack on the site’s user base was “nonexistent” due to Facebook’s implementation of “registrar locks” which exist to “prevent changes to domain names from being carried out without manual checks with real live humans.”
The article states that the SEA claimed the hack by posting “screen grab images of Facebook’s domain registry information listing contact addresses in the Syrian capital city of Damascus” on their Twitter feed. The group’s attack was not aimed against “Facebook itself“, according to the article, but against MarkMonitor, “the company responsible for maintaining its Internet domain registration.”
The report confirmed that the MarkMonitor’s system displayed the changes that the group made, but these changes “didn’t reflect in the database of Verisign, the main registrar for the .com top-level domain” – having “no effect on where traffic to facebook.com was directed.” As the article outlines, MarkMonitor are specialists in protecting “digital intellectual property” which includes sheltering “brands and trademarks” from fraudulent and counterfeit online activity. The firm has handled domain name registrations for Facebook, Apple and other organizations, according to information released in the report.
Read more about this “no-effect” hacking attack in the full Re/code article and how Facebook’s actions avoided a larger scale issue which could have touched their users – reflecting on the social media giant in a very negative way.