Author Archives: Sean Valant

Infographic: This Will Make You Feel Old

Written by Sean Valant

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Every now and again a gentle reminder comes along to let us know that we’re just not as young as we used to be. That game system we played so much as child, or that toy that came out that we remember so vividly… oh, that was over 20 years ago, wow! Well, this infographic is one big reminder that yesterday was likely longer ago that we’d prefer it be.

this-will-make-you-feel-old-infographic

 
 

Heartbleed Bug

Written by Sean Valant

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

You may have now heard of the “Heartbleed Bug.” Before we continue, we want to reassure you that if you are hosting on a HostGator shared or reseller server, that your server has already been patched. For everyone else, HostGator customer or not, we have created the following tool to assist you with determining whether or not your site is presently vulnerable and what further action to take, if necessary: https://heartbleed.hostgator.com/

heartbleed bug

Now, what exactly is the Heartbleed Bug? Technically speaking, it is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. In layman’s terms, it allows the ever-present nefarious individuals the ability to intercept and decode encrypted data. The following quote comes from heartbleed.com:

“The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.”

The bug is so-named due to a normal function between two computers across a network (such as the Internet) sharing an encrypted connection. The “heartbeat” is simply a pulse, or packet of information, sent from one machine to the other to ensure the connection still exists. This functionality is what allows the exploit to occur, in that the heartbeat is simulated by a third party in such a way as to allow them access to the memory of the receiving server.

What this translates to is virtually unlimited, and untraceable, access to a myriad of private information which potentially can include usernames, passwords, and even credit card information. The full extent of the situation is not presently known. What is known is that we should all consider all of our passwords to be compromised. As a result, you absolutely want to update any passwords for anything and everything you log into online. However, if you change your password for an account on a server that has not been patched, then you can consider the new password compromised as well.

For full information regarding this situation, we recommend reading the associated Wikipedia article.

Infographic: The Digital Renaissance

Written by Sean Valant

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Are we in the midst of a new type of renaissance, a digital renaissance?  Given not only the sheer availability of information, but also the ability to immediately share new thoughts with a wide audience, things do seem ripe for the evolution of ideas in ways never before possible.  The following infographic addresses this, comparing the present day to the renaissance of the 14th century:
 

the-digital-renaissance-infographic

 

American Red Cross And The Tour Du Rouge

Written by Sean Valant

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

We are happy to announce HostGator is celebrating our 5th year sponsoring the Tour du Rouge, benefiting the American Red Cross.  The Tour du Rouge is a 533 mile bicycle ride from Houston to New Orleans, spanning 6 days (May 4th – 9th, 2014).

Tour du Rouge Snappy

In recognition of not only the overall cause, but the dedication of the riders and volunteers that make this event possible, we wanted to do something a little bit extra this year.  Today only, all new hosting accounts are 50% off and new domains are starting at just $4 per year; on top of that, we are donating $1 to the American Red Cross for every new hosting package signed up for as part of this promotion.

The American Red Cross provides a myriad of services, from disaster relief assistance to emergency contact for military personnel with their families, as well as community outreach programs such as CPR/First Aid training and swimming lessons.  Ultimately, what the Red Cross does is help people and save lives.

The Tour du Rouge directly benefits the Red Cross chapters in the Gulf Coast, essentially the region directly through which the cyclists travel on their journey.

What began in 2009 with sixty-three riders, has now grown to 200 riders and hundreds of additional volunteers.  This event is about real people helping real people overcome challenges and otherwise preparing individuals to act appropriately in emergency situations.  HostGator is so proud to be involved with such an event.  We invite you to become involved as well.

Today you can get a great deal on a new hosting package and help us to help so many more people: sign up now!