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Paraguay Telco Hijacks DNS Before Elections 150

MrJones writes "In Paraguay we are at T-9 days to national elections. The ruling party has been in power for nearly 61 years (including more than 30 years of dictatorship). Now the state-run ADSL company is hijacking the DNS nationwide of a site that denounces the corruption in the party."
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Paraguay Telco Hijacks DNS Before Elections

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  • yet.... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    ...another reason to hijack the olympic torch...
  • No oil (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @03:02PM (#23048286)
    Do you have oil? If you do, then this corruption is a worldwide tragedy which must be stopped, we'll send troops^Wobservers right away.
  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @03:03PM (#23048290)

    I.E. Google pages

    And put the site in many places so it isn't as easy to silence.

    While hijacking DNS of a small domain may go unnoticed

    Hijacking say Google's or Yahoo's DNS could possibly be highly noticed by the citizens.

    • Wonder if Google Pages was tried by anyone behind the Great Firewall of China?
      • IIRC, the Google.cn site de-lists sites not approved by the great firewall. From that point, it wouldn't be difficult to add the non-Google.cn versions of Google to the firewall's block list, no?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jmnormand ( 941909 )
      might also catch googles attention, who happens to have a market cap 400% greater the gdp of paraguay...
    • by orasio ( 188021 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:19PM (#23048764) Homepage
      They are hosting some of them at googlepages now.
      Anyhow, they are not small domains the ones that were hijacked. One of them is the official page of the party.

      This is not something that could ever go unnoticed.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mysidia ( 191772 )

        The only people they have to prevent noticing it are a majority of the population of their country.

        And they probably have control of the media there, so this probably will go unnoticied by most people, until some time long after the elections, if ever.

        They might not care if a few dozen technically-inclined people in their country happen to notice, or if people in other countries notice.

        Govt' can explain away the "hijacking" as a technical problem, and people may buy the government's technical e

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Actually, I doubt that the people there trust the Colorado Party. My father grew up in Paraguay under Stroessner's rule, and the main effect that had on him was imparting a deep distrust of all government. Now, he has a very firm belief that no one can have any effect on a government save for those already working inside of it, and that all government workers are corrupt as all hell. He said that growing up, he had no idea that the stuff that Stroessner did wasn't happening everywhere else in the world.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Portal1 ( 223010 )
          Actually they don't have control over the media

          Most news papers are in the hands of rich people.
          They are more in favor of the blue party here.

          This incident was on television here last night.
    • Just have the whole country switch to using OpenDNS servers, of course then they might start doing China like firewalling to block it...
    • And in a country like that, they can do what about it?
    • The IP I see for www.partidocolorado.org is from my home account, which has a reverse dns of ghs.l.google.com. From my server account in California, it resolves to, reverse DNS of hs-in-f121.google.com.

      In case of simple automated filters obscuring that IP, those numbers again are 64dot233dot179dot121 and 64dot233dot179dot121.
  • by bumof2005 ( 1043998 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @03:04PM (#23048300)
    It's amazing how easily entire countries of people can be manipulated. China is in the spotlight now but it is nothing compared to countries like North Korea who will get thrown in jail if they have a cell phone for fear that people will actually figure out that nothing they are told is true.
    • by orasio ( 188021 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:27PM (#23048802) Homepage
      In fatc, the issue now at Paraguay is different.
      China is a communist country, where manipulating the media is justified by their ideology.

      Paraguay is a country ruled by a conservative coalition. Their means of manipulating the media are much more occidental, and ruled by market news.

      In other words, what happens now in Paraguay is just an expanded version of what happens in most occidental countries. Big interests control everything, corrupt government people follow those interests, and use the weight of government + corporations to keep in power.

      In South America, we call that "la rosca". In the US it would be "coporate lobbysts".

      What I mean is that you shouldn't look at what happens in Paraguay as a third world thing. To me, it's a risk we all have.
      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:13PM (#23049122) Homepage Journal

        Paraguay is a country ruled by a conservative coalition.

        Which only goes to show what my old bolshie Uncle Ivan used to say. "Kid," he'd say, "nobody believes in capitalism. Nobody believes in socialism. It's socialism for me, and capitalism for you!" Ivan may have been a red, but he was a cynic first and foremost, and that keeps you honest.

        In the end, there is only one thing that really matters in any system: transparency. At least if the system is supposed to be run for the benefit of the people who live under it. You can be all for the proletariat, or all for the free market, but if you're pulling the wool of the peoples' eyes, you aren't any different from anybody else running a con behind high sounding priciples.

    • by tamrood ( 821829 )
      You are right. China should copy America. Over here, the leaders of government don't care if they get caught lying any more.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Try living in the US. You think we're in the picture with honest "news"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by witherstaff ( 713820 )

      You don't have to worry only about the government censorship - corporate media censors items when it fits their interests too. While the article is about Paraguay, even in the US "land of the free" we have censorship and outright lies broadcast as news every day. Fox news had reporters fired [youtube.com] when they refused to lie in one of their reporting pieces. They sued under the whistleblower laws but lost.

      Here's the chilling verdict [wikipedia.org]: There is no law in the US that news cannot lie to you. Or for better wording -

  • TOR (Score:4, Interesting)

    by explosivejared ( 1186049 ) <hagan@jared.gmail@com> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @03:10PM (#23048340)
    Get the word out about tor. Vidalia is an easy to use controller. This is the exact sort of time when a network and protocol like onion routing is extremely valuable.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Hm.. yes.. but is there much to stop them from putting up "phony" exit nodes that also hijack the site?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by erroneus ( 253617 )
      Unfortunately, for most computer users, "Clicking the blue E" is the most they know about getting on the internet. Someone out there needs to create a really handy Active-X plugin that does TOR and put it out there for people to click on. I know, it'd probably cause more problems than it's worth, and may not even work that well as far as getting people to use it... perhaps someone else has a better idea on how to get some of these fundamental technologies out there to the unwashed masses? TV ads might do
      • by cromar ( 1103585 )
        Making it easy for people is the first step. After that, I'm sure a lot of other people would be happy to donate to ad campaigns for Tor or other encrypted network technologies (I know I would). Currently, it's hard to even find trusted peers for most people who even understand how to set it up.
        • Unfortunately, the unwashed masses don't care about privacy anymore. To them, the only people who use technologies like Tor are terrorists and child pornographers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) *

        perhaps someone else has a better idea on how to get some of these fundamental technologies out there to the unwashed masses?

        Yes. We first have to stop electing corporatist authoritarians who believe they have a God-given right to meddle in the affairs of other sovereign countries.

        You can look at almost every single right-wing dictatorship and tin-pot tyrant in the world and find the fingerprints of the Nixon, Reagan, Bush I or Bush II administrations. Iran-Contra, Noriega, Saddam, Osama, Musharraf, Co

        • During WW2, or possibly before that, many US companies realized there's a LOT of money to be made in the war business. I think it has less to do with a desire to meddle as much as a desire to keep arms selling. The trouble is, that business model doesn't work in the long term and they haven't figured out what the recoil on this latest campaign will be.

          There a bit more to it than my simplistic view of "why the US meddles with other nations" but selling arms is a big part of it. We've got these little-disc
          • by Scaba ( 183684 )

            Cheney is a classic example of this revolving door. He's been with Haliburton, been with major pharmaceuticals and others and all the while, in between the two, he has held high ranking government positions such as secretary of defense. (And while he was in a position to do so, he helped push the twice previously rejected aspartame through FDA approval.)

            You're conflating Cheney and Rumsfeld. Cheney was with Halliburton, but never any pharmaceuticals; Rumsfeld was with Searle when aspartame was approved.


          • And as far as the Federal Reserve goes... has there ever been a non-Jewish chairman or board member?
            I probably shouldn't even dignify this with a reply, but before Greenspan, the only chairman who was Jewish was Eugen Meyer. Burns, Miller, Volcker, Martin, McCabe, these are not Jewish names.
        • Wow you sure don't let the the facts stand in the way of your hate.
          If you want to talk about war mongering at least bring in Clinton, under him the US attacked more then 14 different countries a majority of those without any discussion or talk before he attacked. More than both Bush combined.
          That the president did not have to abide by treaties was known back in the 1800's and has been backed up by the supreme court in the 1920. So you are probably mixing up the facts again and confusing it with the rece
    • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) *
      TOR has a DNS "leak" in most configurations. Sure, you are visiting the website anonymously, but you requested the DNS Records from a hijacked server.

      Now, Freenet on the other hand is not designed to be only anonymous, but to be a content provider. Hijacking a Freenet website would prove to be much more difficult to do then hijacking a DNS server.
  • What's the ruling party called?
    The "Ironic Party"?
  • Here's that story linked to English translations of the sites in question:

    "In Paraguay we are at T-9 days to national elections. The ruling party has been in power for nearly 61 years (including more than 30 years of dictatorship). Now the state-run ADSL company is hijacking the DNS [google.com] nationwide of a site [google.com] that denounces the corruption in the party."

    There are other languages available at those links (hay otros idiomas disponibles en los enlaces).

  • by KillerCow ( 213458 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @03:16PM (#23048370)
    In 1993, Internet pioneer John Gilmore said "the net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it", and we believed him. In 1996, cyberlibertarian John Perry Barlow issued his 'Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace' at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, and online. He told governments: "You have no moral right to rule us, nor do you possess any methods of enforcement that we have true reason to fear."

    At the time, many shared Barlow's sentiments. The Internet empowered people. It gave them access to information and couldn't be stopped, blocked or filtered. Give someone access to the Internet, and they have access to everything. Governments that relied on censorship to control their citizens were doomed.

    Today, things are very different. Internet censorship is flourishing.

    Read more at: Internet Censorship [schneier.com].
    • by arete ( 170676 ) <areteslashdot2.xig@net> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:11PM (#23049110) Homepage
      I'm not trying to pretend I know what Gilmore MEANT by his statement, but the way the first statement reads to me I certainly think is true. (I'm not saying there aren't bad things going on we should fight against - only that the statement is only false for a very idealist and broad interpretation.)

      First let's strip away youthful idealism - routing around it doesn't mean it NEVER works or magically disappears - it just means it's much less likely to work, easier to fix, etc.

      Second, let's be clear that "the Internet" includes all of us. When someone involved with that site posts it to /., that's part of routing around, and so is when we blog about it. This includes us doing hard work to keep it that way.

      Finally, while it's obviously possible to keep information _out_ (away from some people), it's very hard to keep information _in_ on the internet. If you're going to (for the purposes of this discussion) strictly interpret the word censorship until it was only one of these things, it would definitely be the attempt to keep information in.

      Traditionally censorship is keeping you from printing a newspaper (or killing you if you do) - that's different than going around town and taking away all the newspapers you can find, which is what's really going on here. The second technique only completely silences the _author_ if the newspaper only circulates inside that town.

      Again, I'm not saying this isn't bad... but in pre-Internet censorship we wouldn't even HEAR about this story. Wikileaks is a great example of the Internet being positive in this regard. The world knows about Tibet. The Great Firewall doesn't even really keep people from viewing outside content - you just need a little technical savvy - and a lot of bravery! - to view outside content.

    • Hmmm. I get your point, but the fact is (outside of, say, China) it's true. If nobody trusted the telco enough to use their DNS and instead used (I think?), this wouldn't be a problem.

      Now, even the Great Firewall of China isn't awfully challenging to get around... you just put your life on the line.
  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @03:19PM (#23048386) Homepage

    ... I put up site that supports the corruption of the party in control?

  • so what can we do? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gibbsjoh ( 186795 )
    a. What is known about this in Paraguay? Are people aware that this is going on?
    b. What can those of us outside Paraguay do to help? Mirror sites, etc?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I am from Paraguay, and no. People (the vast percentage without internet access) is not aware of what is going on (was, they 'fixed the unfortunate mistake' already). Internet access here is very expensive, restricting it to the wealthier population.

      It really didn't do much harm, because the ones with internet access tend to be the more critical to the way things are here, with or without having access to the hikacked sites.

      It is well known to the ruling party (Partido Colorado) that once internet gets chea
    • by orasio ( 188021 )
      A - Oh, yes, they know
      B - Get this on CNN.
    • by Portal1 ( 223010 )
      It has already run on television here.

      I would say, big fire back
      sad new
      nobody cares
  • If I were Paraguayan right now I would be spamming every forum I knew of with the argument of corruption, regardless of what the forum was about, so anyone using the net in Paraguay/the world is likely to see part of the message at least once.. If they couldn't post the whole idea at once, I would do it in parts, on a stay tuned kind of basis, and just keep the coverage of your spamming campaign as diverse as possible so no single entity can silence it...Think anonymous.

    Seriously, Paraguayans should be spa

    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      Looks like they are. I don't think it's a coincidence that we're hearing about it.
    • by orasio ( 188021 )
      IANAP, but I know corruption by the Colorado party is widely known there.

      The issue is that lots of people just don't care and they don't think anything can be done against them.

      Activism is seen as worthless. Maybe that can change things a bit.
  • Dig output (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @03:29PM (#23048452)
  • You should tell everyone in Paraguay about OpenDNS [opendns.com].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      yeah trade one broken DNS for another except opendns shows adverts, resolves everything (breaking apps) and tracks every DNS request just like spyware except the t&c does mention this if you read it

      to be honest you have to be ignorant and stupid if you think opendns is a solution to anything (except the owners pocket books)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 )
        Adverts? Spyware?

        It's an alternate root, not a proxy server. Most DNS queries are cached downstream anyway so they wouldn't get a lot of useful data if the tried.

        Last I heard it was run by volunteers but according to the site now it looks like they've got some funding. Good for them.

        • OT: OpenDNS (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kadin2048 ( 468275 )

          Adverts? Spyware?

          It's an alternate root, not a proxy server.

          I don't have the hate-on for OpenDNS that the GP does, but it does have several weaknesses as a service which caused me to stop using it.

          The biggest problem, and one that the GP alluded to, is that OpenDNS resolves *everything* to a sort of 'parking' page. If you're using OpenDNS and you type in a bogus URL, rather than just not resolving, you'll get a redirect to an OpenDNS page. This is, IMO, misbehavior. However, there's no incentive for OpenDNS to stop, because it's on these pages that they place ad

  • As if the guys of partidocolorado didn't have enough pain with the DNS hijacking, we are now going to slashdot the site...

    We are such helpful nerds!

  • Hi I am a foreigner living in Paraguay.

    The issue is a little more mixed
    It seems they rerouted www.partidocolorado.gov.
    They claimed it was illegal use of their name/trademark.
    same as one would try to register CocaCola.gov

    In my point of view they should not have done this by using their powers in the national tel com and reroute the page, but they should have used the legal way "trademark/name infringement".

    Another point is that people get a government they vote for. It is not so bad here that people are moti
    • Another point is that people get a government they vote for.
      I wish. Please google the 2000 US presidential election for details.
  • Venezuela (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gocho ( 16619 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:33PM (#23048842)
    Same thing happened in Venezuela last year during the last referendum (which Chavez lost, BTW). The newly nationalized CANTV (the main Telco) hijacked all of its customers DNS to block access to the two biggest anti-chavez websites (NoticieroDigital and Noticias24). Nothing new here but good, old fascist techniques....
  • by a_generic_name ( 1242610 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:45PM (#23048922)
    Oh yeah, hijack a site saying you're corrupt. What a great way to prove that you're not.
  • OpenDNS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davidu ( 18 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @04:51PM (#23048966) Homepage Journal
    They are using our OpenDNS servers as the control group. We've been noticing that a lot lately.

    Plus, a lot of folks are using http://cache.opendns.com/ [opendns.com] to start checking the records of their personal site from around the world.
  • From looking at the sites, "Partido Colorado" (red party) is the ruling party, and the opposers registered "partidocolorado.org", and put some parody site there. The hijacked DNS redirects to a site that responds to "partidocolorado.org.py", which seems to be the official party site (you can tell because of the heaps of steaming bullshit they have in there). It's actually pretty confusing if you're not familiar with their politics (at first I thought this "red party" was the opposition, so I was confused ab
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And George Bush bought 100000 acres in Paraguay,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/oct/23/mainsection.tomphillips [guardian.co.uk]
    • by unitron ( 5733 )

      Of course he did.

      War criminals always buy retirement property in nations from which they can't be extradited.
  • Until a couple years ago, the city now know as Ciudad de Este was called "Puerto Stroessner", after the former dictator.

    After being ousted that man lived in Brazil until his last days.

    That sucker was a friend with the militars in Brazil and other right-wing dictatorships in South America during the 60s 70s 80s. And those dictatorships had direct support from the USA.

    Funny how often bad things around the world had the US involved.
  • So the government is highjacking DNS. Can't users fix that simply by editing their hosts file? Granted, nontechnical users would need a little help with that, but it's not difficult.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments