Online classified ads site Craigslist went offline on Sunday in what appears to be a DNS (domain name system) hijack, with visitors to the site redirected to a site called Digital Gangster.

A new domain name registrant was listed as "steven wynhoff @LulzClerk". The LulzClerk handle is listed as a suspended Twitter account.

Wynoff's name was recently associated with an alleged hack on the website of bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto's email address.

The Digital Gangster site is currently unavailable, presumably as a result of the heavy traffic it has been receiving, however Craigslist's domain registration is back in control of the site's administrator.

Digital Gangster has previously been associated with other high-profile hacks, including photos stolen from pop singer Miley Cyrus's Gmail account.

In that instance the alleged hacker was 19-year-old Josh Holly, who posted photos of Cyrus to forums on Digital Gangster before being raided by the FBI at his home in Tennessee, USA.

'Simple' DNS hijack

The DNS method of attack is one favoured by hacking organisations like the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) and has formally been used to take over sites belonging to the New York Times and Twitter.

Such attacks rarely affect customer data and serve no threat to anyone visiting sites hit by a DNS hijack beyond being redirected to another site.

"These types of attacks typically do not utilise advanced hacking techniques to compromise servers or users' systems via exploits or other means," said Mike Lennon, managing editor of Security Week.

"In fact, attackers typically execute these attacks using simple phishing methods or other social engineering tactics that enable them to gain access to online accounts that control domain name services."

Craigslist is yet to respond to a request for comment on the matter.