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Home » Hacking News » Novell server hacked

Novell server hacked

by Nikola Strahija on September 30th, 2005 A company server at Novell, usually used by employees for gaming purposes, has been hacked and scanned for vulnerable ports on potentially millions of computers worldwide.

Chris Brandon, president of Brandon Internet Security, reported the problem to Novell. He said he had been first alerted to the hack when a client reported scanning activity several days ago.

According to Brandon, the scans were traced back to a server with an IP address assigned to Novell. The hacked system appeared to be running a mail server for a gaming site called Neticus, and the main game web page for was hosted on a separate server that also belonged to Novell.

The scans, which have been going on since 21 September use Port 22 - the default port for Secure Shell (SSH) services. Scans against the port are often an indication that hackers are looking for vulnerable SSH systems that they can break into and take control of.

Kevan Barney, a Novell spokesman, confirmed that one of the company’s systems had been compromised. But he added that the server was not part of the company’s corporate network nor was it a production server.

Going by the large number of IP blocks scanned by the attacking server, it is safe to assume that "millions" of computers may have been probed for SSH-related weaknesses, he said.

-The employees that set it up apparently had no idea of security, Brandon said. -But what is really surprising is that Novell would allow employees to set up game servers on their corporate network and then allow the public to access it.’

-There was no major breach of security here, Barney said. -Needless to say, we are taking the appropriate steps to address the situation.’

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