GoDaddy, the world’s largest registrar and one of the largest website hosts, was down for most of the afternoon today. A Brazilian hacker is proudly claiming responsibility for it.
The main GoDaddy website was unreachable for most of the afternoon and has just came back up. The worst news is that all the websites hosted at GoDaddy are also down.
According to a BusinessWeek story from May 2012, GoDaddy hosts more than 5 million websites and has registered more than 53 million domain names.
On Twitter, Anonymous Own3r — the security leader of Anonymous — is taking personal responsibility for the attack.
The crazy part of this is how this hacker is boasting on Twitter about all the damage that he has been doing to websites and servers. He takes it as a personal challenge to hack into largest websites. And his admirers are there to praise him for it…
One of my clients asked me today what FBI can do in this kind of a case.
If the tweet below is true, the answer is “Not much.” It seems that some time ago, he was able to hack into 4 FBI websites.
If you are one of the unfortunate ones who had a website hosted at GoDaddy and are wondering when this will be over, your guess is as good as ours.
***UPDATE: it looks like Godaddy website is back up and some of the hosted sites are coming back****
So what are some lessons to learn from this?
Don’t Use GoDaddy For Hosting.
First of all, we never use GoDaddy for hosting our clients’ websites. While they are one of the largest hosting providers, their up-time history is not great and you can easily see how many people are dissatisfied with their hosting services. We do use them to register domain names, but then we use our own hosting solutions that are more secure and have a better track record.
The biggest problem I see with this hack is that many of the hosted websites belong to small business owners who simply didn’t know any better. GoDaddy spends a lot of money advertising and has created a well known brand. From Super Bowl commercials to great deals and promotions, they have carved out a large niche of small business websites.
The truth is, most savvy internet marketers know better and use other hosting providers to host their websites.
Backup Your Websites
As part of our hosting service, we back up our clients’ websites to make sure we don’t loose the sites in cases like this. When any changes are made, we use our special backup software to create a new copy and keep it in the archives. If the worst comes to worst, we can get a different hosting provider and upload the websites there. It would be devastating to lose all the websites we’ve created for clients.
If you have a blog on your website that you update regularly, you should be backing up your website often. Needless to say, it would be practically impossible for a business owner to remember and re-write all the blog posts that have been written.
Monitor Your Websites
You want to keep your eye out on whether your website is up and running or down. There are couple of ways to do this.
You can obviously visit your website at random times. While that will work, it is very time consuming and is not very effective. An alternative is to use software that automatically monitors your website for problems and notifies you when your website is down. We host a large number of websites for clients and that is part of the service that we offer with our hosting.
If you are looking for help with your website or hosting, contact us today at 615-378-7778.