It is with regret that I contact you to inform you that one of our servers was compromised in the early hours of this morning.
A vulnerable client password was exploited to gain access to a web server and a malicious attempt to render the websites hosted on that server inaccessible. A number of clients may have noticed that their website either 1) displayed a message from the so-called hacker, or 2) displayed a site maintenance message implemented shortly after discovering the issue. While some of the affected websites were back up and running within minutes of this discovery, others may continue to experience outages for several more hours during a continued effort to fully resolve this affects of this breach.
It is important to note that the web server is the piece of equipment that is used to host your website, and while it was compromised, rest assured that the information stored on the database server and the servers that provide your email service were not. Your private data stored in the database for your website and in your email accounts was not accessed or affected. The database server is much more highly guarded, as a very limited selection of individuals has access, and all use very strong passwords for the accounts on that server. Your email is hosted through proVanceTek, but hosted by Google Apps, and Google has very reliable detection of attempts to compromise accounts on their servers. So, please be assured that this malicious activity, fortunately, only cosmetically affected some client websites.
In an effort to curtail future similar attacks, proVanceTek passwords used to access these servers have all been changed. Additionally, if you have FTP access to the web server to update your website or upload files to your website, an attempt to contact you has been made via text or phone to notify you that your FTP login password has also been changed – If you need further assistance logging into your FTP, please contact proVanceTek asap.
Furthermore, as always, it is recommended that you utilize a strong password (at least six characters using: letters, numbers, capitals, and special characters) to access your email or website content management system and to change that password several times a year. You can change your website password by logging into your website and going to your user account page. You can change your email password by loging into your email by going to gmail.com, using your email address as your username and providing your current password, clicking on yourself in the top right corner, clicking on “account”, and then clicking on the “security” tab.
If you have any questions about this matter or any further concerns or issues, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank your for your time and understanding, but especially your continued trust and business.