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Global WordPress Brute Force Flood

Written by Sean Valant

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

As I type these words, there is an on-going and highly-distributed, global attack on WordPress installations across virtually every web host in existence.  This attack is well organized and again very, very distributed; we have seen over 90,000 IP addresses involved in this attack.

At this moment, we highly recommend you log into any WordPress installation you have and change the password to something that meets the security requirements specified on the WordPress website.  These requirements are fairly typical of a secure password: upper and lowercase letters, at least eight characters long, and including “special” characters (^%$#&@*).

You have now changed your WordPress password, correct?  Good.

The main force of this attack began last week, then slightly died off, before picking back up again yesterday morning.  No one knows when it will end.  The symptoms of this attack are a very slow backend on your WordPress site, or an inability to log in.  In some instances your site could even intermittently go down for short periods.

We are taking several steps to mitigate this attack throughout our server farm, but in the same breath it is true that in cases like this there is only so much that can actually be done.  The servers most likely to experience service interruptions will be VPS and Dedicated servers hosting high numbers of WordPress installations, due to the incredibly high load this attack has been seen to cause.

If you are hosted on a VPS or Dedicated server and you would like for us to take a more severe, heavy-handed approach to mitigate this attack, we can do this via means such as password-protecting (via .htaccess) all wp-login.php files on the server.  If you would like our assistance with this, please contact us via normal support channels.

Again, this is a global issue affecting all web hosts.  Any further information we could provide at this moment would be purely speculation.  Our hope is that this attack ends soon, but it is a reminder that we must all take account security very seriously.

We will update this blog post when we have further information.

 

**UPDATE**

If you have just a few WordPress sites, you can add the additional layer of security mentioned above, as well as block this attack, by following the instructions outlined in this article from our KnowledgeBase: http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/technical/wordpress/wordpress-login-brute-force-attack

HostGator is Expanding!

Written by Josh Loe

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

In 2006 HostGator.com moved from Boca Raton, FL. to Houston, TX.  We made the move because we could not find enough employees in Florida, also we ran out of space in the tiny office we occupied at the time.  We are proud to announce that we once again are  faced with this problem and are expanding even more!  We have chosen Austin, Tx as our newest location.

We closed on a 102,000 SQFT office building on the East side of Austin and have already started working on getting the office setup. We have been working diligently this past week closing on the office and getting everything in line, just as we did here in Houston back in 06.

When we moved to Houston a lot of our employees stayed in the office for the first few months. We are going to be doing the same in Austin as long as zoning permits it.   We are already looking to add a special area called ‘tent city’ for employees to sleep until they get situated in Austin.  If you have never bunked with 10+ System Administrators you are missing out!  Brent himself will be staying in the office if zoning permits.

200,000 Web Hosting Clients and Climbing

Written by Brent Oxley

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

HostGator recently reached 200,000 active customers and we are on pace to break 300,000 within a year.

I remember when I’d be out celebrating if HostGator managed to get two signups in a week. Now, we’re seeing thousands of signups a week. Back in the day, my celebrating consisted of nothing more than dropping the Ramen noodles or the tuna can I had in my hands and grabbing some sushi for an hour before scrambling back to work. At the time, I was a poor college student who invested every penny I had back into the business I was building.

The HostGator.com domain was registered on October 10, 2002 and here are some statistics about how many active customers we’ve had at a few points since then.

  • 2/1/2003: 112 active customers
  • 2/1/2004: 1,031 active customers
  • 2/1/2005: 6,892 active customers
  • 2/1/2006: 21,434 active customers
  • 2/1/2007: 50,213 active customers
  • 2/1/2008: 92,752 active customers
  • 2/1/2009: 157,432 active customers
  • Today: 200,000+

How HostGator Came To Be:

I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a kid. In sixth grade, I sold candy at school and had all the kids in my neighborhood working for me. When I was 14, my cousins and I had a business where we sold watermelons from a truck on the side of a road. The deal we offered was simple, but effective: “2 for $5.”

Ain't no Glory in Selling Watermelons

Ain't no Glory in Selling Watermelons

It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that I got hooked on trying to make money on the Internet. What sucked me in was the paid to surf programs such as AllAdvantage, Bepaid.com, Cashfiesta, and the like. These companies claimed they would pay you to surf the Internet while looking at ads. I created my first website on a service much like GeoCities and was able to generate over 50,000 referrals between all the programs I was enrolled in. One by one, I learned that all of the programs were a scam. I made $65 when I was entitled to over a million.

All You Can Eat Hosting

Written by Brent Oxley

Monday, October 20th, 2008

We have some very exciting, disturbing, shocking, and electrifying news for you!

HostGator Web Hosting is now offering UNLIMITED DISK SPACE, UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH, and UNLIMITED DOMAINS for less than ten bucks a month.

I should be telling you this is a limited time offer and to sign-up while supplies last, but I’m not going to. If you decide to wait a few months, the plan just might change to unlimited bazillion-trillion everything. If you happen to sign up before the unlimited bazillion-trillion plans are released, we’ll be happy to upgrade you free of charge. If you think this all sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is! The “new” unlimited plan is the same plan we were offering a year ago, but now we label it as unlimited.

I wanted to call the plans unlimited last time around. However, due to staffing constraints, we wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the expected growth. A year later, we are finally OVERSTAFFED and ready to change the plan. Up until now, I’ve been slowing sales down on purpose in order for our support to catch up. If history repeats itself, renaming the plan from essentially unlimited to actually “unlimited” will increase our sales by at least 30%.

It’s really that simple.

We change an unlimited plan to say “unlimited” and bam — sales increase 30%, if not more. Many people will argue that “overselling” is evil and that it’s the cause of poor hosting service. This is not the case when it’s managed correctly and the proper staffing is in place. When a hosting company hops on the overselling bandwagon, their sales usually increase exponentially. Since very few companies actually have the capacity to handle a major surge in growth, their quality of service is almost guaranteed to deteriorate.

The support problems HostGator has had in the past weren’t from “overselling.” The problems were actually a result of growing faster than we could hire and train employees.

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