Australian domain registrar and web host Distribute.IT suffered an attack on Sat, 11th June. The company said: “The overall magnitude of the tragedy and the loss of our information and yours is simply incalculable; and we are distressed by the actions of the parties responsible for this reprehensible act.”
Unable to fulfil its role as an accredited registrar, auDA gave NetRegistry Pty Ltd its consent to acquire Distribute IT’s .au registrar accreditation and customer base on Wed, 22nd June.
The security attack was so sophisticated and calculated that customer data, emails and websites hosted on four of its servers were deemed by experts to be unrecoverable. Subsequently, Distribute.IT advised that 4800 accounts had been affected by the hack. The demise of Distribute.IT looks well and truly sealed.
Distribute.IT had always been a valuable supplier to Net Solutions. Alex, Carl and the rest of the team were always approachable, helpful and provided superb support. This is a devastating situation, and I sympathise with everybody who lost their content.
So what can we take away from this?
The domain names were largely under control with many resellers hitting the airwaves at whirlpool.net.au. Net Registry’s Larry Bloch and Brett Fenton were there to listen and offer support.
Some 4800 customer websites were totally wiped with no chance of recovery. Even though Distribute.IT had backed up data from their clients’ sites, all the backups were on-site and subsequently targeted by the attackers. Some customers found themselves scraping the ‘Way back machine’ to recover whatever they could.
What I can suggest is backup, backup and backup! Backup your data on the server, backup your data off-site and backup your data locally or to your computer. It’s not good enough that your only backup exists in the same place as your website does. Ask your web-host about backup options. It will more than likely cost you more money, but ask yourself what would it mean if you lost all your data and how much would you be prepared to pay to recover from a disaster such as Distribute.IT’s.
For CMS’s and Blogs use a tool like MarsEdit to write posts and duplicate them. There’s a lot of information and plugins out there to help you backup your data easily and seamlessly.
You cannot afford to be too over-protective of your data.