[news=http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/1053/network7ja.jpg]The Methlabs.org domain and server, owned by the group of the security specialists behind the IP blocking tool PeerGuardian, has been taken over by the server administrator.
The group has moved to temporary hosting at SourceForge, where they have posted the following message:
“The majority of the Methlabs.org administration and development team have been forced out of their website following a series of threats and incidents. The member of the group that had been trusted to handle the finances and servers slowly managed to take over each individual part of the website's assets, eventually claiming control over the entire group and locking out the majority of staff.
“The organisation's founders, Tim Leonard and Ken McKelland, as well as the majority of the organisation's staff and developers (including the main developer of the PeerGuardian2 application, Cory Nelson and the staff members responsible for auditing the PeerGuardian Blocklists) have all been forcibly removed from the servers that were funded from donations given to the organization by happy users, and from text advertising placed on the websites forum and project pages.
“The money, which was to have been used to help fund the development and hosting costs of the group is now unavailable, stolen by the one who was trusted to keep it.”
Because the incident involves a dispute over a domain name, the Methlabs staff are not yet going to name the server administrator responsible.
"We won't be rash in naming anyone," Joseph Farthing, public relations at Methlabs told Slyck News. "It's still perhaps possible that this could be resolved, however unlikely it seems."
The Whois information for the domain names William Erwin as the current owner, causing some speculation that he is responsible. William uses the nickname “cerberius” at Methlabs.
It is unknown why the hijacker wants ownership of the domain.
“If we had known what he wanted from day one, it might have made this situation easier to deal with. He certainly transferred the domain before any arguments started with him, sometime in mid august, we just simply didn't know that he had done it,” Farthing said.
Farthing went on to say that the team is now concentrating on setting up a new site and server. Safe backup copies of the site will minimize the downtime.
“We'll try to restore the entire site somewhere, perhaps we'll need to have a slightly renamed domain,” Farthing added.
The temporary Methlabs site at SourceForge is hosting the PeerGuardian installation files. The Linux version will become available when the backups are uploaded.
Despite the setback, Farthing remains defiant,
"We'll be back."
UPDATE: William Erwin, now confirmed as the hijacker, has posted news on Methlabs.org, claiming the hijacking news is false and stems from a revolt by former team members.
However, after speaking to the Methlabs team and various connected members of the community, P2Pnet, SuprNova and Slyck can all confirm that the original story that the domain has been hijacked is genuine.
PeerGuardian users are advised to stop using the Methlabs.org and Blocklist.org hosted blocklists in favor of the Bluetack list.