Web Hosting News
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.
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
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Blogging.org, a well-respected site in the blogging community, recently conducted a comprehensive survey of 5,600 bloggers in order to determine the “Top 25 Hosting Companies” for bloggers. HostGator took first place, with 1907 out of 5600 votes; just shy of 900 more votes than 2nd place received. This is an honor that we at HostGator do not take lightly, and we are very happy to be able to share this news with you.
The voting criteria was based on which host the aforementioned 5,600 bloggers used and which host they would recommend to their peers. With over 203 million blogs online today, blogging is an undeniable online presence these days. There are 31 million bloggers in the US alone, with 43% of the total bloggers using WordPress, including this HostGator blog.
It is worth noting that this survey was completely unbiased and affiliate payouts were not a factor in this survey; it truly is simply the honest opinion of the blogging community.
Please visit http://blogging.org/blog/top-25-hosting-companies/ in order to see a further breakdown of the related statistics as well as the other 24 hosts that made the cut.
Now is the perfect time to start your blog with (or move your existing blog to) HostGator. Take advantage of our 1-click installs of WordPress and have your blog online today. Use coupon code BLOG to receive 25% off your first invoice on any new sign-up*!
*this coupon expires on October 9th, 2012.
Written by Sean Valant
Sunday, May 6th, 2012
We’ve been having a lot of fun with our blog lately, and we promise to continue to do so. However, we need to address some serious business once again. Back in December, we posted about SOPA. That beast has changed forms, returned and is now attacking more forcefully. CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, aka H.R. 3523) was passed by the United Stated House of Representatives on April 26th, by a vote of 248 to 168.
Ostensibly, CISPA exists to “help the U.S Government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyber attack.” However, this wolf in sheep’s clothing also allows complete, unfettered access to your online activities without regard to existing privacy laws, provided the government suspects you of having committed some type of cyber crime. Criminals should absolutely be investigated, prosecuted and punished if found guilty. However, the scope of this bill is far too broad to be an effective piece of legislation and lacks any clear parameters as to what would constitute a justifiable suspicion, or when and how the government can monitor your internet browsing information; basically making all of us potential suspects, guilty until proven innocent.
Representative Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and onetime web entrepreneur, stated during the debate that ”allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on,” and that CISPA would “…waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity.”
The author of CISPA, Representative Mike Rogers (R – Michigan) responded by asking his colleagues to ignore “all the things they’re saying about the bill that are not true.” That statement itself is curiously representative of the bill and an excellent example of stereotypical politician-speak; it moves towards the desired goal without identifying any parameters or setting any limitations.
The ACLU and Mozilla have both spoken out against CISPA, and the Obama administration has thus far maintained that it would veto the bill, due to it lacking confidentiality and civil liberties safeguards. However, this fight is not over. We at HostGator still very much support an Internet whereby free information and the unhindered distribution of said information is an unalienable human right; we do not want to lose this right, signed away as part of a malformed and ultimately counter-productive piece of legislation.
Please contact your Congressional Representative and let them know how you feel on this important issue. Vote no on CISPA!
Written by Patrick Pelanne
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
Imagine if you were able to genetically combine Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Darth Vader and Barbara Streisand into one horrifically terrifying being. Now imagine that being is actually a piece of proposed legislature — the terrifying creation in your midst would then be the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which is currently being considered by the House.
SOPA, aka H.R. 3261 is a bill right now in the House sponsored by R-TX Lamar Smith. It’s not just any bill though, it’s a bill that would allow the USDOJ, RIAA, MPAA and anyone else who lobbies for the entertainment industry to effectively censor the internet to suit their needs.
James Allworth recently wrote “Is this really what we want to do to the internet? Shut it down every time it doesn’t fit someone’s business model?” and I couldn’t agree more. Censorship is a slippery slope. Not only that but it also creates an absurd amount of bureaucratic busy work. Here at HostGator we already spend a HUGE amount of time answering DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) requests. If we allow our representatives to begin deciding what is and what isn’t ok for you to view on the internet then where will it end?
The bill itself is absurdly broad, creates a ton of liability for small to mid size e-commerce based businesses and will serve to stifle the tech industry in order to cater to lobbying groups paid by companies who refuse to adapt to a world in which free information is king (and almost as unstoppable as a force of nature).
A couple months back Godaddy CEO Bob Parsons decided to head to africa to help out the good african citizens by murdering elephants (pesky elephants!). They received so much hate in response to that you’d think they would take a more neutral tact in their views going forward. NOPE! Today Godaddy came out in support of SOPA (which is mind blowing to us as we’re both in the same sector) and they’re receiving a good amount of (well deserved) lashback:
We here at HostGator support a free internet. An Internet in which free information and unhindered distribution of said information is an unalienable human right. Do the same, contact your representative and tell them to vote NO on SOPA.
50% off Shared / Reseller / VPS first month. Coupon code: NOSOPA