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December 3rd, 2008

CheckFree Online Payment Site Hijacked By Criminals, Users Redirected To Rogue Server

Online payment service CheckFree lost control of at least two of its domains on Tuesday in an attack that sent customers to servers run by cybercriminals from Eastern Europe.

The Register reports about a reader who received a bogus secure sockets layer certificate when attempted to log in to his account early Tuesday morning. On further examination, he discovered the site was mapping to To confirm the redirection was an internet-wide problem, he checked the site using a server in another part of the US and got the same result. Commercial customer support tech was not aware of any problem.

Security experts say the IP address has long served as a conduit for online crime. According to security researcher Paul Ferguson of anti-virus software provider Trend Micro, the IP address was recently observed handing off booby-trapped PDF files that infected those unfortunate enough to open them.

According to, Spamhaus, and SpyNoMore, several other web addresses are also being redirected to that IP address, including,, and

It’s unclear how long and were redirected to the rogue servers or whether customers have been warned they may have been compromised.

It’s also unclear how the culprits managed to hijack the domains. While security experts say DNS poisoning wasn’t out of the question, the more likely explanation is malicious transfer of the domains through their registrar. Indeed, whois records for both the addresses indicate they were updated sometime Tuesday.

Credit: The Register

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