Category Archives: Linux Web Hosting

AOL Security Breach Exposes Customer and Employee Information, Including Encrypted Passwords

handscomputerAOL is working with forensic experts and federal authorities to investigate the spoofing attack last week which appears to have given spammers access to customer information including encrypted passwords.

Reports of spam emails flooding AOL inboxes emerged on Tuesday, and AOL immediately began an investigation, according to a new blog post by AOL updating users on the status of the security investigation.

The attack involved unauthorized access to AOL’s network and systems where the spammers were able to see customer information, including AOL users’ email addresses, postal addresses, address book contact information, encrypted passwords, and encrypted answers to security questions for password resets. It is also believed that certain employee information was accessed.

“Importantly, we have no indication that the encryption on the passwords or the answers to security questions was broken. In addition, at this point in the investigation, there is no indication that this incident resulted in disclosure of users’ financial information, including debit and credit cards, which is also fully encrypted,” AOL’s security team writes in the post.

Spammers used the contact information to send spoofed emails that appeared to come from around two percent of AOL’s email accounts, according to the post.

AOL is encouraging users and employees to reset their passwords and change their security question and answer in light of the attack. It is also notifying potentially affected users.

Controversy around the security of free email services has not been limited to AOL recently. Last month, Microsoft changed its email policy in response to reports that it snooped in a user’s email account to find the source of a code leak back in 2012.

StratoGen Appoints Kat McClure to Spearhead Global Marketing Efforts

Leading VMware cloud hosting provider StratoGen is pleased to announce the appointment of Kat McClure as its new Global Marketing Director.

Kat will lead the international marketing program to meet StratoGen’s market expansion within the hybrid cloud space. Her efforts will be focused on increasing global demand by bringing in new customers and partners as well as further developing existing business relationships.

With over 14 years of experience in the IT and media sectors, Kat has considerable experience in multi-national B2B marketing including working at Microsoft, AppSense, Mistral Internet and BskyB. Kat’s extensive marketing background is extremely well placed to further enhance the good reputation and rapid growth plans of the StratoGen business.

Karl Robinson, Sales Director at StratoGen commented: “We are thrilled that Kat has joined the leadership team at StratoGen. Her previous experience and pragmatic approach will be pivotal to our plans to significantly expand our hybrid cloud offering over the next few years. The business has been growing 50% year on year and having Kat heading up the marketing efforts will certainly help propel StratoGen into its next phase of growth.”

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About StratoGen

StratoGen is a leading VMware hosting company with a worldwide client base and award winning cloud platform. StratoGen operates in multiple datacentres across the US, Europe and Asia offering VMware hosting, disaster recovery and associated services. StratoGen hosted VMware products include a 100% uptime service level guarantee.

ICANN to be Overseen by International Stakeholders by 2015

telecommunicationsThe US National Telecommunications & Information Administration has announced plans to transition the oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or ICANN) from the US Department of Commerce to a new form of multi-stakeholder oversight.

This measure could put an end to the US government’s authority over the system of addresses and domain names that organize the Internet.

Individuals and other governments have complained that the department’s contract with ICANN gives the US unique influence over the internet. But after this contract expires in September 2015, ICANN will be overseen by a new yet-determined body made up of various international stakeholders who have an interest in how the Internet is managed.

US Senator John Thune, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said that he wants an open and innovative Internet free of bureaucratic or political tampering.

“The US helped create the Internet, and we want to see it grow and stand on its own. It doesn’t need a nanny state, or a collection of nanny states, trying to stifle it,” stated Sen. Thune. “It needs – and deserves – a strong multi-stakeholder system free from the control of any government or governmental entity and which keeps the critical Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions insulated from the politics of Internet governance.”

This plan is being praised as a brilliant compromise that doesn’t give one party too much control (whether it’s the US or the UN), yet it still holds ICANN accountable to stakeholders, ensuring that the organization itself can’t act completely autonomously.

In February, EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes called for a multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, and last year ICANN created its own “Future of Global Internet Cooperation” panel committed to a multistakeholder approach.

But this possible change in how the internet is overseen has many speculating how it will affect various companies involved, including Verisign, which operates the authoritative domain name registries for .com and .net. And while experts have noted that it’s unlikely that VeriSign could lose its own .com registry contract set to expire in 2018, VeriSign’s share prices have fallen dramatically after the government announced its decision.

VeriSign issued the following statement: “The announcement does not impact Verisign’s .com or .net domain name business nor impact its .com or .net revenue or those agreements, which have presumptive rights of renewal.

“The NTIA announcement involves Internet functions that are entirely different functions from those Verisign performs under its .com and .net agreements. The functions performed by Verisign involved in the NTIA announcement have been performed as a community service spanning three decades without compensation at the request of the Department of Commerce under the Cooperative Agreement.”

The NTIA’s decision is also not without opponents. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation senior analyst Daniel Castro has noted that the revelation of the extent of US digital espionage has acted as a catalyst for this decision, when, in fact, this is an entirely different issue.

Castro also notes that US oversight “played an essential role in maintaining the security, stability, and openness of the Internet and in ensuring that ICANN satisfies its responsibilities in effectively managing the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System.” He contends that countries such as Russia or China might use their new power in ICANN to censor online content outside their borders.

Still, many are eager to see a multi-stakeholder approach, and the US has long planned to roll out such an approach.

ICANN’s Board Chair Stephen D. Crocker said in a statement, “The US has long envisioned the day when stewardship over them would be transitioned to the global community. In other words, we have all long known the destination. Now it is up to our global stakeholder community to determine the best route to get us there.”

The US undoubtedly wants to protect the internet. Perhaps setting it free of unilateral control might be the best way for this to happen.

ServInt Introduces SolidFire SSD VPS

ServInt, an innovative provider of managed cloud hosting for businesses worldwide, today introduced its new SolidFire SSD VPS product line, designed to dramatically increase the speed and reliability of small-business web sites.

The SolidFire SSD VPS is a complete reimagining of ServInt’s decade-old VPS platform, redesigned from the ground up to solve the longstanding problems of VPS environments faced by the entire web and cloud hosting industry.

ServInt focused its redesign efforts on maximizing speed, resource transparency, and delivering complete resource-performance guarantees at every level. The resulting new platform couples the raw speed of massive SSD storage arrays with performance guarantees, including disk-speed performance guarantees enabled by SolidFire, at price points that make SolidFire and SSD accessible to small businesses for the very first time anywhere.

Perhaps the greatest advantage offered by ServInt’s SolidFire SSD VPS is the elimination of disk-resource contention, or “the noisy neighbor problem.” Until the introduction of SolidFire storage technology, VPS-based hosting service providers had no means of ensuring that their customers were getting their fair share of disk input/output resources – particularly if there was a “neighbor” on their server who was running a disk-intensive application and intermittently taking all the IOPS for themselves. Now, with its SolidFire SSD VPS, ServInt is providing real guarantees on minimum sustained IOPS, eliminating the last major server-based cause of site slow-downs for virtualized hosting customers.

“SolidFire’s IOPS QoS technology is absolutely state of the art, and we’re proud to be the only host bringing it to the small-business market,” said ServInt CEO and Founder Reed Caldwell. “Just as important, however, is the way we did it. We literally started from the ground up, building a completely new datacenter; new 10GigE network and 10GigE storage network, both with 2N redundancy; full integration of Parallels’ new PCS virtualization system; a custom tool set to allow seamless, instantaneous client provisioning and migration; and much more. This effort took the better part of a year, but we wanted to do more than just bolt a great new technology onto our hosting infrastructure. We wanted to spare no expense, and to do this better than anybody else possibly could – and that’s exactly what we did.”

ServInt CTO Matthew Loschert said, “The ServInt SolidFire SSD VPS is particularly well suited for small businesses because it provides complete resource-performance guarantees for many of the apps used by most small-business sites. This is especially true for e-commerce sites, sites that require blog caching, and sites that rely heavily on historical e-mail. Any database-driven or file-backed sites will benefit enormously from this product. Users of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Magento in particular will find our new product line to be highly beneficial.”

In addition to the speed and reliability advantages offered by the platform, ServInt’s SolidFire SSD VPS also offers near-instantaneous server upgrades and downgrades – i.e., true cloud scalability – as well as massive data redundancy and extremely rapid site recovery when needed.

About SolidFire

SolidFire is the market leader in all-flash storage systems designed for next generation data centers. Leveraging SolidFire’s all-flash architecture, with volume-level Quality of Service (QoS) controls, customers now can guarantee storage performance to thousands of applications within a shared infrastructure. Coupling this functionality with in-line data reduction techniques and system-wide automation results in substantial capital and operating-cost savings relative to traditional storage systems.


About ServInt

ServInt is a pioneering provider of high-reliability, managed cloud hosting services for enterprises worldwide. Founded in Northern Virginia in 1995, ServInt provides a range of IaaS, PaaS, VPS and dedicated server packages to hosting service resellers, web designers, developers and online businesses in more than 130 countries. To learn more about ServInt’s cloud, VPS and dedicated hosting solutions, please call 1-800-573-7846 from the USA, +1-703-847-1381 from outside the USA or visit