Feeds

Fasthosts customers blindsided by emergency password reset

Webhost confirms hackers have raided servers

Boost IT visibility and business value

Fasthosts has announced that "a number" of its customers'* FTP spaces were raided as a result of the major hack that triggered a police investigation last month. It has applied a system-wide reset of thousands of passwords as a result.

The Gloucester-based webhosting firm yesterday performed the emergency reset of control panel, PCP, FTP and SQL passwords that were not changed by customers when the intrusion was revealed.

An email sent to customers said:

Today we have been made aware that a small number of our customers who did not change their passwords have experienced a compromise to their FTP space.

As a result, in order to totally protect all of our and your customers, we have today implemented an automatic password change.

If you have already changed your control panel password, you will still need to go into your control panel and change ALL the FTP, SQL and email passwords associated with your accounts that haven’t already been changed.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER SHOULD YOU TRY TO REUSE ANY OF YOUR OLD PASSWORDS

The firm is sending replacement passwords out via Royal Mail, it says. A Fasthosts statement described the move as a "precautionary measure".

All email passwords that were not changed will also be reset on 9/10 December.

We've been bombarded by emails from angry webmasters who say no warning was given ahead of the reset, shutting down hundreds of websites.

Reader Mike's reaction is typical. He wrote: "The password was changed after 6.10pm last night which is ridiculous. If I was going to do the password change this way, I would have at least chosen to do it on a Monday so that there was a chance of the letter being delivered on Tuesday or Wednesday."

Kevin said he changed the passwords Fasthosts told him to when the attack came to light. At 11.15pm last night he wrote: "They even provided me with a list which consisted of three FTP and my main Control Panel password – I changed them immediately.

"At 10.35pm I got an email from Fasthosts telling me that they have reset four SQL Server Database passwords and all of my FTP passwords.

"The resetting of all of my passwords coincides with FTP experiencing problems. I am stuck staring at the System Status screen waiting for FTP to come back up so I can alter the passwords - all before tomorrow morning when my clients all scream at me because their online businesses are down during the busy Christmas period!"

Fasthosts said: "Fasthosts considers that its practices and procedures are up to date, and represent good practice in continually protecting the security of its customer data.

"We apologise to those customers affected for any inconvenience caused during the issuing of new passwords."

Reports say Fasthosts' support lines are continually engaged, so feel free to share your views below. ®

*We've asked for clarification on this, and we'll update you if we get an answer.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.