4,800 websites erased in Australian web host hack

22 Jun 2011

Australian domain registrar and web host DistributeIT is unable to recover 4,800 websites after a “malicious attack” on its servers.

The web host was hacked on 11 June, which it says was “a deliberate attempt to take down the DistributeIT business.” However, DistributeIT is “still in the dark” about the hackers’ true motives.

The attack lasted for a short duration, aiming to destroy drive header files to maximise the damage before the web host’s engineers shut down the network.

However, DistributeIT confirmed yesterday that 4,800 domains and accounts have been lost completely, which includes data, websites and emails hosted on Drought, Hurricane, Blizzard and Cyclone.

The attacks erased the production data, backups and snapshots which would have helped the web host recover the sites.

As a result, it no longer has the resources to transfer these accounts to other parts of the platform, meaning that it can’t undertake further provisioning of servers and accounts on its infrastructure.

DistributeIT said it would help customers transfer hosting to other providers, as they could not see any alternatives for affected servers.

“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,” wrote DistributeIT.

As of today, technicians have made progress to restore the core reseller services and say that they will begin to come back online from tomorrow. The web host will contact all resellers via email to get new passwords for their accounts.