Author Archives: Sean Valant

Happy 12th Birthday, Snappy!

Written by Sean Valant

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

It seems like only yesterday that our beloved blue gator was crawling around the swamp, still in diapers. Oh, how time flies!

Twelve years ago today, the HostGator.com domain was registered and thus Snappy was born. We like to mark this occasion each year with a something special.

This year we’re extremely happy to officially announce our new Texas datacenter! All new hosting accounts are now being provisioned right here in Houston, Texas, at CyrusOne!

CyrusOne features redundant power and cooling, along with state-of-the-art security and virtually everything one could ask for in a new datacenter. We’re very proud to be back home in Texas with CyrusOne!

Not only are we in a brand new data center, but Snappy is offering special discounts in celebration of his birthday! All new hosting plans with 6-month billing cycles are 65% off. All new hosting plans with billing cycles of other than 6-months are 45% off.

There’s even more great birthday news! Existing customers are welcome to take advantage of these discounts as well, please see this FAQ for full information.

To sign up, simply visit http://www.hostgator.com! This sale ends at 11:59p CST tonight (Wednesday, October 22, 2014).

Happy birthday, Snappy!

The Shell Shock Vulnerability

Written by Sean Valant

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

The bad guys are unfortunately at it again. Today the Internet lit up with news of a new vulnerability, officially named “CVE-2014-6271,” but more widely-known as “Shell Shock,” a reference to the environment exploited, known as a shell.. The shell in question is called BASH, itself an acronym for Bourne Again SHell. Nearly all Linux servers in the world have BASH installed; it is the most common shell in use today. A shell itself is what is used to interact with the operating system via command line.

Before we proceed, you should know that all HostGator servers have been patched as of this writing. We identified the issue very early-on and developed the necessary solution for our environment. We are, of course, continuing to monitor the situation and will react appropriately should the need arise.

As with any security or vulnerability risk, it is important to reiterate the importance of practicing good security to the extent of your ability as an end user. Always use secure passwords (you know the drill: upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters), always keep any third-party scripts (such as WordPress, Joomla, etc.) up-to-date, and always uses the latest version of any software that you utilize… because the truth is that often software is updated strictly for security patch purposes.

Should the need arise, we will update this blog post accordingly. Otherwise, stay safe out there on the Interwebs!

May We See Your ID, Please? Part IV

Written by Sean Valant

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

If you haven’t seen the first three posts in this series, we’d highly recommend checking them out right here.  With that out of the way, let’s dive right into our newest batch of fake IDs!

Up first is what appears to perhaps be a French ID, aside from the fact that we suspect it may not be official and, in fact, it might even be homemade.  Surely the finest colored pencils were used in order to replicate an official document, but with our collective keen eye we determined that this ID raised enough red flags for us to consider it most likely counterfeit:

homemade_id

 

Our next ID may not be completely homemade, but it’s a close second. If not for the name, age, and gender having clearly been Photoshopped in, our attention may have been brought to the fact that the picture (on the otherwise blurry photograph) is clearly a selfie. While it is possible, in this modern age, that government agencies would accept selfies for their official documents, we have our doubts about this one:

mycard

 
This next person didn’t really try to fool us, they apparently just sent us an image from Discover Card’s own advertising. No points for creativity were awarded for this one, but here it is anyway:
fakecard

 
Only slightly more effort went into the following image, which is clearly just a sample identification card image, and features a birthday of 00/00/0000:

fakeidcard

 

We will now enter the celebrity portion of this batch of fake IDs. The following image arrived with an explanation, and we quote: “I could only acquire a photo ID of CIA card with my name Michael Westen.” It is worth noting that the customer’s name was not, in fact, Michael Westen:

westen_cia

 

We quickly determined that we could also acquire a photo ID of CIA card in the name of Michael Westen, on eBay:

fake_cia

 

Up next we have Mr. Bradley Cooper, of “The Hangover” fame as well as the famous “Ellen” selfie from the 2014 Oscars. One way or another, he found himself on a “CEO” identification card… but he’s not getting hosting here with this ID, CEO or not:

brad_cooper

 
Rounding out our celebrity portion is the character made famous by Will Ferrel in the movie Talladega Nights, Mr. Ricky Bobby himself!:

ricky_bobby

 

For our final image, let’s talk about puns. Puns are something that we generally try to avoid, when given a choice. But this next picture simply makes it unavoidable. This is, bar none, the best ID that we’ve ever been sent… and it’s not even a fake, per se. But if we were giving out prizes for this, then we would award this ID one entire Internet as a prize. As for that pun, well, this ID quite literally takes the cake:

cake_ID

Yes, that is what it looks like; someone baked a cake and used their ID as decoration and then sent us a picture. They didn’t physically send us the cake, unfortunately. For the record, while our Fraud Prevention Department was highly entertained by this, this was not acceptable as a valid form of ID for our purposes, so they did ultimately have to send us a proper scan. Nonetheless, we applaud their creativity!

Given that an ID on a cake is pretty hard to top (did we really just slide another pun into this post?), we will likely be retiring this blog post topic. We’ve had a lot of fun with the posts, and fraudsters beware, we’re as vigilant as ever… but a cake ID, that’s more than we ever hoped for when starting this series of blog posts. We hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as we have!

Goooooaaaaaaalllllllll!!!!!

Written by Sean Valant

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

It’s a very exciting time in the world of sports! A time of collective exaltation, when one word can be heard above all others in joyous celebration: Goooooaaaaaaalllllllll!!!!!

In the United States, we call it soccer, but throughout the globe fútbol is a sport held deep in the collective heart of many people.

As you surely know, there is a very important fútbol tournament happening right now. We’ve decided to acknowledge and celebrate this competition by offering a special promotion: 45% off all new hosting packages and domains for as low as $8 per year!

Although we will certainly be hearing exclamations of Goooooaaaaaaalllllllll!!!!! for a few more weeks still, this special promotion is today and tomorrow only: June 24th-25th! The sale will conclude at 11:59pm CST on Wednesday, June 25th.

Throw on your favorite team’s jersey and enjoy the spirit of camaraderie that this tournament brings; may the best team win!

For just a little bit of extra fun, we made the following video that we very much hope you enjoy: