DNS flaw is 2008's biggest web blunder

Fault in the world wide web's DNS nearly caused a world wide wipeout
Fault in the world wide web's DNS nearly caused a world wide wipeout

PC Tools has announced its Top 5 Internet Blunders Of 2008, and it makes for some eye-opening reading.

The security software developer felt that the year's biggest web-based blunder was one which potentially could have broken the internet.

It centres round Dan Kaminsky, a security consultant who found a major flaw in the internet's Domain Name System (DNS). The flaw essentially meant that anybody could re-route a web address to a bogus site, and phish information from users.

In a recent (and fascinating) feature in Wired magazine, Kaminsky explained how he found the flaw, and how he got the likes of Microsoft and Cisco Systems to issue a software patch before potential hackers exploited the major web loophole.

Hack attack

The other blunders on the list include: celebrity email and phone hacking – both Sarah Palin and Miley Cyrus were victims of this; CERN's Large Hadron Colider website hacked to make a mockery of the science experiment; NASA laptops infected with malware (space viruses!); and an epilepsy website hacked, so when people clicked on the site they were bombarded with flashing images.

Unsurprisingly, PC Tools recommends that web users purchase its software – which includes Spyware Doctor – "to ensure optimal protection" against such blunders happening in 2009.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.