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Nike.com is the latest Internet site to have its site hijacked by "hack-tivists" looking to spread their political message, but the company has been less than helpful in attempting to fix the problem, according to a hosting service in Europe. Nike.com has since been taken offline.
FirstNET Online Management Ltd., owner of Scotland-based hosting service FrugalNames, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, is warning viewers of the www.Nike.com site that the site had been compromised. Instead of going to Nike.com, people were going to www.s11.org, a grassroots-activist site located in Australia. The s11 carried a protest against the Asia Pacific World Economic Forum meetings scheduled for September in Melbourne.
In a statement issued early Thursday morning, s11 denied any part in the 19-hour siege on the sporting-goods nike.com Web site. S11.org received over a quarter of a million hits within the first six hours of the attack, the group says.
"The website administrators do not know how this was done, or why," s11.org' statement reads.
"S11.org is a website dedicated to grassroots organization preparing to shut down the World Economic Forum meeting at Melbourne's Crown Casino in September. We suspect Nike may have been targeted for their highly publicized employment practices, which have gained extra attention in Melbourne of late with the recent court case against them," the statement reads.
FirstNET posted a message online saying no one from Nike has returned its calls. The letter states that FirstNET can't stop the illicit rerouting, and offered an apology for any performance problems caused by the strain of the redirection:
The inability of FirstNET to halt the rerouting strikes some security experts as strange; however, as it appears, FirstNET hosts the name server for Nike.com, which converts URL name requests to IP addresses on the Internet.
"The issue here is that Nike has outsourced the security of the name server and they need to ask questions of FirstNET," says Lars Neupart, an exec with New York-based security firm Viglante Inc.
Representatives from Nike and s11 were unavailable for comment. It was unknown at deadline if s11 activists had a hand in the hijacking of www.Nike.com, or when the site will be restored.
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