Gateway traces hacker of Malaysian Web site

Posted on November 30, 1999 
Filed Under CNET, Julian

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Direct-selling giant Gateway Inc has traced a hacker who defaced its Malaysian Web site on Sunday and threatens legal action.

Bob Sherbin, vice president of Asia/Pacific corporate communications, said in statement to CNET Asia that the hacker only known as “ieet” is from the U.S. and “we will be seeking to prosecute the individual.”

The hacker took down Gateway Malaysia’s main page and replaced it with the message “ieet wants a gateway for x-mas ;o) ” and suggested Web site owners go to Microsoft’s homepage to “fix this hole.”


“There was a security flaw in the server software that is used in the site. The hack appeared to have taken place Sunday evening. It was discovered Monday morning at 8am. It took about 10 minutes to patch the flaw,” said Sherbin.

Sherbin said the hack only affected its Malaysian site which also hosts pages for its Hong Kong and Singapore offices.

“While our site in Malaysia continuously takes prophylactic steps to guard against such intrusions, this one was missed. No other Gateway sites were affected. It appears that other sites had previously been aware of this potential flaw and had taken action to patch it,” he said.

Sherbin estimates the Web site was down for less than 12 hours and sales losses were minimal because “it occurred during the quietest period of the entire week.”

Online since January, the regional Gateway Web site allows customers to customize and purchase Gateway desktops and notebooks directly.

“This was a clear reminder of the need for continuous vigilance to ensure that our site remains safe and fully functioning on a 24/7 basis,” he said.

The hacked page was documented on Attrition.org, a computer security site that maintains an archive of hacked Web sites.

Published in CNET Asia, Nov 30, 1999

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