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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 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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