Nigeria’s Etisalat Network Experiences Major DNS Poisoning Attack

DNS Poisoning

Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile network operator, Etisalat may be experiencing a major DNS poisoning attack which redirects some websites such as Nairaland and Google to another spooky website, Techloy has learnt.

In case you don’t know, a Domain Name System (DNS) poisoning attack, also called DNS spoofing, occurs when an attacker is able to redirect a victim to different website than the address that he types into his browser.

After a tip-off from a source, we investigated to find that Nairaland, Nigeria’s largest online forum was a victim of this DNS poisoning with its site redirecting to other sites when visited via mobile using the Etisalat Nigeria network.

Already, a discussion on the online forum started yesterday suggests that the Nairaland kept redirecting to Naij, a local news site which is also a competing site to the online forum.

But when I checked the Nairaland site via mobile on an Etisalat network this morning, it redirected me to a site called Hobatoba.com, which appears to be a social network where Nigerians meet friends and have fun, listen to music and watch videos.

And then, almost instantly, it redirects to an error page that recommends that you contact you service provider for more details. It is unclear what the problem really is, but there are speculations that it might be a hack by someone trying to redirect traffic from Nairaland.

We’re not sure yet, but we’ve reached out to Etisalat as we’ll keep investigating this trend and keep you in the loop.

Update 1 (25/02): We called Etisalat’s IT desk and they claimed not to have any knowledge about the possible DNS spoof that redirects some websites to other websites via their mobile network.

Update 2 (25/02): Etisalat’s IT desk said that the issue is not a network problem, but they would investigate and revert back in 24 hours. For the love of God, 24 hours???

Update 3 (25/02): We also found that Google.com also redirects to a site called Hobatoba.com which may possibly be linked to Naij, a local news site when you visit it via the Etisalat Nigeria network.

Update 4 (26/02): Nairaland has been restored, but Google.com still redirects to the same site above and it also appears that Facebook.com may be affected too.


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  • http://www.digitalcraftstudios.com Francis Onwumere

    nice post!

  • Dyke

    facebook.com is also affected. In my location the dns spoofing was only realized today

  • Dan

    Nairaland is not yet restored, still redirecting to LOBATOBA.COM 28/02/2013

  • Victor

    PLEASE. Have you gotten anyone from Etisalat to deal with this. Thus is causing some tension. kindly contact them as this is also part of your job, loy.

  • kemi

    This more thsan 4 days old problem. I got back from UK over a week ago and this crap had started.

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