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April 30, 2009

Beefed-up Security for all Itomic Web Hosting Clients

By Ross Gerring

We’re pleased to advise all Itomic web hosting clients (which will be the majority of people reading this article) that in the last few months we’ve implemented additional “anti-hacking” security measures on all our servers. One of the principle ways nasty people using automated software try to hack a computer is by repeatedly throwing various combinations of popular usernames and passwords at it until such time as access is granted (so always keep your passwords hard to guess!). This is known in the trade as a “brute force” hacking attempt. Our beefed-up security systems are now more vigilant than ever before for such events, and are empowered to auto-block suspect offenders, e.g. 5 strikes and you’re out. It’s a layered response system, so an initial auto-block might only be temporary (e.g. automatically lifted after 1 hour), but more blatant /repeat offenders can be auto-blocked permanently.

Of course, like most things in life, with the yin comes the yang: false positives! This is where, for example, one of our clients makes multiple genuine attempts to login to their website (e.g. control panel or webmail) but simply can’t remember their password. We’ve had a couple of reports from clients of this happening over the last month or so. Sincere apologies! If this happens to you, just give us a call on 08 9321 3844 (Perth) or 03 9827 8603 (Melbourne) and we’ll a) remove the block immediately and b) potentially be in a position to make our security systems a little less ‘aggressive’ in the future.

By the way, if you do call about this issue, the first question we’re going to ask you is “what’s your IP address?”. Don’t worry – it’s easy to find this out! Just visit this website It’ll clearly state your IP address, and it’ll also take a stab at where you are physically located on the planet and show this on a Google map.