Print 22 comment(s) - last by tech329.. on Jun 23 at 5:05 AM

Web host says sites are unrecoverable

It's every web administrator's worst nightmare -- your online presence is totally destroyed in a service outage.  That's precisely what happened when Australian domain registrar and web host Distribute.IT was attacked.

Over 4,800 websites were reportedly lost when the hackers struck last Saturday, as four servers were reportedly left unrecoverable.  The company comments:

The overall magnitude of the tragedy and the loss of our information and yours is simply incalculable; and we are distressed by the actions of the parties responsible for this reprehensible act.

At this time, We regret to inform that the data, sites and emails that were hosted on Drought, Hurricane, Blizzard and Cyclone can be considered by all the experts to be unrecoverable," it said.

While every effort will be made to continue to gain access to the lost information from those hosting servers, it seems unlikely that any usable data will can be salvaged from these platforms.

In assessing the situation, our greatest fears have been confirmed that not only was the production data erased during the attack, but also key backups, snapshots and other information that would allow us to reconstruct these servers from the remaining data.

The company promises to help customers "transfer your hosting and email needs to other hosting providers."

For large site owners that likely won't be a problem as they likely have save backup copies of their homepage.  For smaller operators, though, this could be very bad news, as many of them don't have the resources to save backup copies. 

Writes one customer in a local forum, "[The hack] has probably killed my business."

The question remains why Distribute.IT was penetrated so easily and thoroughly.  It is also baffling why they chose not to back up their data off-site as most hosting firms do.

As the potential for abuse of the stolen private information of website owners is great, these factors may play a key role in possible future legal proceedings by site owners against the company.

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RE: Dude, where's my data?
By greylica on 6/22/2011 11:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
What I do here: Generate My Backup, compress with 7-ZIP, and then record it into BD-R -> Library.
If you ask me for a snapshot of DB of January 2006, 5, I will great you with a DVD of the week and the backup is in good state.
All of them are stored with dissecant, in appropriate cases. And when they get 5 years old, I start to switch media from DVD to Blu Ray.
Never lost any backup, never put my job and career at risk. If there's offline media to use, (and very cheap for what they do) let's use it !
The infrastructure to achieve those levels of security is cheaper than Tape Library, even in cases where we have lot's of data.
We have for example a partition with 128GB of documents, even older docs are there. After a full (Ultra) 7-ZIP compression, (Octa Core, 6 Hours of compression), we have 40GB of data split to two U$3,00 BD-R. It's one of our main Backups, and it's done once a week, because there aren't lot's of changes on them over a week (traced). The production DB is backed up once a day, and after compressed, 100GB of data is converted to a simple U$ 0,50 DVD storage.
And I say, we ddin't store them only in the facility, some times, a copy of those backups go to the home of the enterprise owner, avoiding problems like fire, etc.
There's no excuse for online backups only, sorry...

RE: Dude, where's my data?
By Mitch101 on 6/22/2011 12:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
Its the same as home users. LAZY or CHEAP.

Nobody buys or does a backup until they lose information and no one should expect much in way of backup or support from those $2.99 a month hosting packages that a lot of users sign up for.

RE: Dude, where's my data?
By Samus on 6/23/2011 1:21:08 AM , Rating: 1
Wow. I'm an IT consultant and each and every one of my clients have two forms of backup: onsite (USB HDD, Iomega Rev, etc) + offsite (Kryptonite, DataGuard, Symantec...)

The onsite backup is rotated, in many cases daily but some at random, by an employee such as a secretary, instructed to rotate using drives/disks in a small, fireproof lockbox next to the server that has a basic electric keypad.

Point it, these are small, ~10 employee, businesses in greater Chicago area, and this article is telling me a fucking WEB HOST had an inferior backup plan? Dude, 2TB USB drives cost like $100 bucks, go get a couple and rotate the damn things daily on your way out the door for the evening. It takes 20 seconds!! While your at it spending a few bones on the hard drives, get a $50 electronic locking firebox at harbor freight, and if you really want to splurge, which you should, spend a few hundred bucks a year on a popular offsite backup like Kryptonite.

At worst, you'll lose maybe 3 days of recent data.

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