UPDATE 2-Baidu sues domain provider after hacker attack

Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:28pm EST

 * Lawsuit in New York seeks damages
 * "Iranian Cyber Army" hackers interrupted site
 * Register.com Inc says lawsuit without merit
 (Adds statement from Register.com)
 SHANGHAI/NEW YORK, Jan 20 (Reuters) - China's top search
engine, Baidu Inc (BIDU.O), sued its U.S.-based domain name
service provider Register.com Inc on Wednesday after a cyber
attack interrupted its web services last week.
 Hackers calling themselves the Iranian Cyber Army briefly
hijacked Baidu's home page on Jan. 12, weeks after doing the
same thing to popular microblogging site Twitter.
 In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court in New
York, Baidu said it sought damages under the Lanham Act for
trademark infringement, breach of contract and negligence.
Parts of the court document were redacted.
 "Baidu's account was vandalized so that Internet traffic
intended for Baidu and accessed through the 'baidu.com' domain
name was misdirected to a web page depicting an Iranian flag
and a broken Star of David," the court document said. "In
addition, Baidu was locked out of its account -- thus
precluding the re-routing of traffic to Baidu's website."
 A spokeswoman for Register.com Inc in New York said the
Baidu lawsuit was without merit.
 "Register.com takes cyber-terrorism very seriously and we
are working closely with federal law enforcement officials who
are investigating this crime as well as the recent similar
attacks on Twitter and Google," spokeswoman Alice McGillion
said in an emailed statement.
 Baidu said that it was seeking damages from Register.com
after web users around the world were unable to access its
search engine for at least four hours.
 "As a result of the gross negligence of Register.com Inc,
the domain name resolution of www.baidu.com was unlawfully and
maliciously altered," Baidu said in a statement emailed to
Reuters.
 Baidu suffered serious injury to its reputation and
business, including millions of dollars of lost revenue and
out-of-pocket costs to restore service, the lawsuit said.
 Following the cyber attack, news reports carried snapshots
of Baidu's home page showing a message "This site has been
hacked by Iranian Cyber Army". [ID:nTOE60B05U]
 Outraged Chinese hackers retaliated by attacking Iran-based
websites the following day.
 Baidu, which holds the greatest share of the Chinese online
search market, vaulted into greater prominence after Google's
shock announcement last week that it may leave China over
censorship and hacking concerns. [ID:nTOE60H01S]
 Its Nasdaq-listed shares have gained around a fifth in
value and touched a record $470.25 last Friday.
 The case is Baidu Inc v Register.Com Inc, U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-444.
 (Reporting by Farah Master in Shanghai and Grant McCool in New
York; Editing by Lucy Hornby, Tim Dobbyn and Matthew Lewis)



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