GoDaddy Hacked – Attacked Installed Malware on its Servers

GoDaddy found malicious malware had been installed on servers in its cPanel shared hosting environment by an unauthorized third party. This results in the websites of its clients being intermittently rerouted.

“We investigated and found that the intermittent redirects were happening on seemingly random websites hosted on our cPanel shared hosting servers and were not easily reproducible by GoDaddy, even on the same website”, GoDaddy explains.

One of the biggest domain registrars, GoDaddy also offers to host services to more than 20 million users globally.

Even as the attackers had access to the company’s network for a number of years, GoDaddy only learned about the security breach after receiving customer complaints in early December 2022 that their sites were being exploited to reroute to random domains.

“We are working with multiple law enforcement agencies around the world, in addition to forensics experts, to investigate the issue further”. 

“We have evidence, and law enforcement has confirmed, that this incident was carried out by a sophisticated and organized group targeting hosting services like GoDaddy”, says GoDaddy.

GoDaddy added that evidence indicates that their apparent objective is to infect servers and websites with malware to carry out phishing operations, malware distribution, and other nefarious actions.

“Based on our investigation, we believe these incidents are part of a multi-year campaign by a sophisticated threat actor group that, among other things, installed malware on our systems and obtained pieces of code related to some services within GoDaddy,” GoDaddy said in an SEC filing.

This Multi-Year Operation Is Connected To Earlier Breaches

According to the company, this multi-year campaign is also connected to earlier breaches that were revealed in November 2021 and March 2020.

Following an attack on GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting environment using a stolen password in November 2021, 1.2 million Managed WordPress clients had their data compromised.

The affected customers’ email addresses, WordPress Admin passwords, sFTP and database login information, and SSL private keys for a subset of active clients were all compromised.

“Once we confirmed the intrusion, we remediated the situation and implemented security measures in an effort to prevent future infections”, GoDaddy

The company said it is actively gathering evidence and information about the attacker’s tactics and procedures to aid law enforcement as they continue to monitor their conduct and thwart attempts from this criminal organization.

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