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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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Worst Nightmare
By tech329 on 6/23/2011 5:05:57 AM , Rating: 2
This is soemthing that every admin loses sleep over.

My solution is simple. I do backups to an offsite location and initialize those backups from that site. Not from the site being backed up. Thus there are no scritps etc or any other info that allows to contact the backup location. And as a final piece of my paranoid pie I have that backup site devised so all communication is one way with no connections initiated from the outside in allowed. It might be a pain if I need the data ever but it can't be touched. And lastly the backup site is a static IP. No DNS, no URL etc etc.




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