Craigslist felled by hackers

Hackers downed the online classifieds site Craigslist Sunday night, making it inaccessible to some and rerouting others to various websites.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster confirmed the cyberattack in a blog post. International tech news site The Next Web first spotted the offensive.

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While Craigslist appeared to be back up and working as of Monday afternoon, some users were still unable to access it as late as Monday morning.

Most of the traffic to Craigslist late Sunday was routed to a site called Digital Gangster. The page is an invitation-only online forum known for posting racy photos stolen from Miley Cyrus’s email account in 2008.

The Digital Gangster website was itself unavailable Monday afternoon, presumably as a result of a spike in traffic to the site.

According to Buckmaster, the hackers felled Craigslist by compromising the company's domain name service records, which helps route users to the Craigslist site once they’ve requested a Craigslist Web address in their browser.

The strategy is known as a domain name server attack, and gives cyber criminals control over a website. It’s the same strategy the Syrian Electronic Army, a hacking group backing the Syrian government, used to take over the The New York Times’ Twitter account last year.

It’s seen as a very disruptive cyberattack since it gives hackers the ability to send users anywhere online. However, it’s not often associated with the theft of personal data.

Buckmaster said in his blog post that Craigslist had retaken control of its own site, which should be fully functional soon.