Baidu to Pursue Claims Against U.S. Domain Registry

Baidu plans to press its claims against a U.S. domain registry for allowing hackers to take over the search engine company's website, following a judge's ruling clearing the way for a lawsuit.

On Thursday, a U.S. court judge ruled that Baidu could sue the domain name service provider, Register.com for claims stemming from a hacking attack on Jan. 11 that left the search engine's website disabled.

"We are pleased with the decision and we intend to pursue our claims accordingly," Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo said Friday of the court ruling. Baidu would offer no further comment on any upcoming litigation.

The January attack occurred when a group called the Iranian Cyber Army managed to gain unauthorized access to Baidu's account at Register.com. All traffic to Baidu's website was then re-directed for five hours to the hackers' site, effectively taking the search engine offline.

After the incident, Baidu filed suit against Register.com for failing to follow its own security protocols to prevent the attack. The company alleges that a Register.com technical support representative handed over control of its account to the hackers even though the security questions preventing such an action had been answered incorrectly.

In Thursday's ruling at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Denny Chin declared that Baidu could sue Register.com for gross negligence, recklessness and breach of contract. The ruling, however, dismissed five of the seven complaints originally filed, which included contributing to trademark infringement.

Register.com could not be reached for comment.

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