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Mysterious internet data hijacking operation discovered

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A sizable chunk of internet traffic made an unnoticed pit stop in Belarus and Iceland at several points over the past year, a security firm said today. Renesys, a company that monitors online activity, says some internet traffic was hijacked en route to the US and other locations, including government destinations as part of a scheme of unknown origin.

"These redirections took place on an almost daily basis throughout February, with the set of victim networks changing daily," Renesys' chief technology officer Jim Cowie wrote in a post about some of the hijacking activity last month. "Victims whose traffic was diverted varied by day, and included major financial institutions, governments, and network service providers." On that list are places like the US, Germany, South Korea, and Iran.

Victims varied by day, including major financial institutions and governments

It remains unknown who exactly is behind the effort, or what happened with the data, including whether it was copied. Wired reports that the hijacking used the Border Gateway Protocol internet standard, which allowed the redirecting to go unnoticed by users on the final end of the equation since they still received their data — even with a stop along the way.

The Verge
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