SmarterBroadband Hosted Websites Hacked

When the Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) SmarterBroadband purchased the customer base of Internet Service Provider (ISP) Full Spectrum in the spring of 2012, they acquired over one hundred websites that were hosted on one or more servers located at a remote facility. A few days ago, websites — many for local businesses and non-profits — on those servers were hacked by a person or group calling itself “Anonymous DZ” replacing home pages with one that looked like the image on the right, playing a song in Arabic when arriving on the page.

The Union
incorrectly reported that the group “anonymous” was responsible for this. More than likely it was another source, as the group “anonymous” typically is known for its more prominent hacks to protest Internet censorship by governments and corporations.

Hackers are known to take advantage of known server security bugs, which is why website hosting is such a daunting enterprise these days. The illicit code inserted to display the alternate home pages is typically not too difficult to find, but the security “hole” must be fixed by updating the code to a more secure version. In these types of hacks, very little damage has been done, although the Arabic music and words in this case were startling.

No other local ISPs who host websites — Spiral Internet, Nevada County Web Surfer — were affected.

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