Fasthosts customer? Change your password now

Police called to major hack


Updated Fasthosts, "the UK's number 1 web host", has fired off emergency emails telling customers to change all their passwords after police were called in to investigate a major data breach.

The Gloucester-based firm contacted The Reg this morning with a statement. It said: "As the breach could relate to Fasthosts customer data... Fasthosts has subsequently reviewed and updated its security and worked with external security experts to ensure that all data held by Fasthosts is secure.

"As a precautionary measure, Fasthosts has asked its customers to update their passwords. This includes their control panel, email, FTP, and database passwords, all of which can be changed via the customer control panel. Fasthosts has now implemented customer password encryption to further protect customer data."

We've asked Fasthosts why the passwords were not encrypted in the first place. It said: "Historically, Internet companies have rarely encrypted passwords to aid customer service."

Fasthosts said that the attack affected one server at its headquarters, and added that a system-wide audit had identified and closed the hole where the intruder gained access.

It apologised for any "concern or inconvenience" caused by the intrusion. The statement 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, and the company remains fully confident in its ability to do so."

The security flap comes directly after Fasthosts angered its email customers by permanently deleting mail and not immediately telling them. ®

Update

We asked Fasthosts for more detail about the chain of events. It says it can't reveal more details of the timings because of the ongoing police inquiry, but sent us a further statement:

Detection systems revealed that an unauthorized third party gained access to some of our internal systems via network connections. This security breach was only possible because of a security vulnerability which was forced illegally.

As we are currently working with the police and other relevant industry bodies to apprehend the intruder, we regret that we are unable to comment on any details that might prejudice the ongoing investigation.

Fasthosts has been working with the police and other relevant authorities since we became aware of the intrusion.


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022