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Doubleclick, hacked since 1999

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In the marvellous world of the new-old-new economy, ex-future dotcomania, everybody knows DoubleClick, the biggest online advertisments retailer. In other words, DoubleClick is the best way to put banners on a large amount of websites. And if you want to know how many people visited your website, DART, a DoubleClick's technology, is made for you. Unavoidable...

How many clients ?

A lot. It's quite difficult to find a precise answer, but we've found an official document which DoubleClick released to the SEC: "We currently serve ads for over 2,000 clients worldwide, and in December 2000 delivered approximately 63 billion targeted advertisements to Internet users worldwide."

How many banners ?

"New York, 3/12/01 - DoubleClick Inc. (NASDAQ: DCLK), the leading digital marketing solutions company, today announced DoubleClick's DART (Dynamic Advertising Reporting Targeting) technology marked another milestone, serving its one trillionth ad. Currently, DART serves an average of 2 billion ads daily, which outpaces the daily average of 1.75 billion shares that Nasdaq's trading network processes."

OK, but what's the problem ?

Two years ago, a US security company, eEye Digital Security, released an advisory concerning Microsoft IIS's web servers which explained that it was possible to create a telnet remote access with root's privilege when the server was misconfigured. In other words, it's possible to control an entire server within seconds.

And we've just discovered, while surfing on DoubleClick's website, that its servers has a... backdoor. And this kind of trojan horse which authorize to remotely access to the server is in the place since... 1999 !!! DoubleClick has been hacked two years ago using an exploit (which is also two years old), and, since then, everything's fine, nobody ever noticed anything, and DoubleClick continued to manage its ads, again and again... This also means that, as the server has been misconfigured (open), for two years, there's a fair amount of probability that the person who placed the backdoor accessed many other datas within DoubleClick databases or network. For example, the "manage.doubleclick.net"'s server, which is not far from the one that has been hacked, will help a Doubleclick's customer to remotely manage it's DART advertising campaign... Just imagine what can be done if someone stole datas that pass among this system.

Speaking of privacy, Doubleclick explains : "DoubleClick Privacy Statement Internet user privacy is of paramount importance to DoubleClick, our advertisers and our Web publishers. The success of our business depends upon our ability to maintain the trust of our users."

You're kiddin'...

Let's say that, as some merchants put large banners which advertise "Smith & Cie, brick & mortar since 1910", DoubleClick could publicize itself with something like "DoubleClick, hacked since 1999"...


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