BERLIN, Germany - One of the world's largest providers of Dark Web hosting services, Daniel's Hosting, suffered a cyberattack last week, which not only led to the web hosting provider being taken offline, but also caused 6,500 sites to go down.
The hacking of Daniel's Hosting was confirmed by the German software developer who is behind the hosting service, Daniel Winzen.
Winzen said that the server's root account was deleted in the hacking and all of the over 6,500 Dark Web services that the provider hosts on the platform too had gone down.
The service hosts a variety of sites, including malware operations, political blogs, and interestingly, even hosted a list of suspects from rival cybercrime gangs and nation-state hackers who might have been interested in hacking Daniel's Hosting.
In a message posted on the DH portal on Sunday, Winzen said, "As per my analysis it seems someone got access to the database and deleted all accounts."
He added in a statement, "Unfortunately, all data is lost and per design, there are no backups. I will bring my hosting back up once the vulnerability has been identified and fixed."
The hosting provider is reportedly still looking for the hacker's point of entry.
Winzen was quoted as saying in a ZDNet report, "As of now I haven't been able to do a full analysis of the log files and need to further analyze them, but based on my findings so far I believe that the hacker has only been able to gain administrative database rights. There is no indication of having had full system access and some accounts and files that were not part of the hosting setup were left untouched. I might re-enable the service once the vulnerability has been found, but right now I first need to find it."
Winzen has reportedly been focussed on looking at possible vulnerabilities that the hacker might have exploited to gain access to his server.
He said that the hack might also be "an opportunity to improve some bad design choices of the past and start with an all new and improved setup, which I expect to be able to provide in December."
Daniel's Hosting became the largest hosting provider for Dark Web services in February 2017, after the Anonymous hacker collective breached and took down Freedom Hosting II.