Anyone who has ever setup a website remembers how daunting their first experience was. Terms like ‘shared hosting’, ‘register a domain’, ‘nameservers’, and ‘cPanel’, which may now be in your regular vernacular, were once a foreign language you’d someday hope to understand. You were confused about what company you should host with, or how you’d even build a website, or whether or not you could fix a problem with the site once it was online. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business, an individual, a hobbyist, or anything in between, todays culture expects you to have a web presence. So where does the first time site builder get started?
Easy as Pie
Up until today, any time you wanted to make a change to your hosting account (domains, databases, emails, etc) it had to be done directly through cPanel. This meant you needed to remember multiple usernames and passwords (Note: If you’re not already, you should be using LastPass for secure password management) depending on whether you wanted to access your client area, helpdesk account, or cPanel. We’re very happy to say we’ve found a way to integrate your cPanel control right into your client area, meaning fewer logins and a more unified hosting experience. Hooray!
As improbable as it seems, 2014 is coming to a close and 2015 is upon us. It’s hard to believe we’ve seen another 365 days come and go but here we are, and at least for us at Hawk Host it’s safe to say this year wasn’t a waste. We’ve made new partnerships, launched new services, and even brought a brand new flagship datacenter online. We were certainly busy, never bored, and as always we’re looking ahead to the next year for what’s to come.
Woo Hoo! 2015!
The often overlooked but never forgotten Canadian holiday of Boxing day is back! Every year, Canada (well, not just Canada, but we’re Canadian so we’ll focus on us) has a big sale the day after Christmas. Similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a great chance to catch some one time savings on products you were already going to buy. Hope you had a relaxing Christmas, because it’s time to wake up and order some awesome hosting!
Wrong Kind of Box
Welcome back, friends! It’s once again that wonderful time of year where you get to sign up for our world class hosting at a fraction of the cost! Not only do this years Black Friday promotions bring larger discounts (both one time and recurring), but we’re also going to extend the sale because we can. A one day sale is fun, but a five day sale is so much better.
Best Value of the Year!
We partnered with SpamExperts in March to bring end users enterprise level spam filtering at a cost effective level. We currently include SpamExperts free of charge for all users. It’s just a matter of utilizing the SpamExperts link in your cPanel to activate it. Then going forward you’ll be utilizing our filtering cluster to filter all your incoming email. We’ve had skeptical users as it just seemed way too easy of a system surely it cannot be that effective. As we just finished deploying additional hardware for our cluster located in our Los Angeles datacenter I thought it was time to take a closer look at the numbers.
Nothing like frying SPAM.
On Wednesday September 24th 2014 a vulnerability was revealed in the Bash shell interpreter which we run just like nearly every linux system online. Due to the news coverage this exploit ( CVE-2014-6271 ) has gotten our loyal customers have been asking if we have patched our systems as well as anything else we may have done. The short answer is we put in steps to mitigate the risk and once patches were available we patched our systems. At this time none of our systems are vulnerable to this exploit. I thought though it would be good to address some questions and give a bit of background information regarding the exploit.
Our team was notified of the exploit soon after it became public as we actively subscribe to numerous security related mailing lists. The vulnerability had several potential entry points such as cPanel’s own internal CGI scripts as well as user based CGI scripts. We immediately set in place mitigation steps to help protect our systems while not compromising the ability to continue to serve web sites.
The patch to address CVE-2014-6271 was released and within 30 minutes our systems were updating to the version of bash now available. It took approximately 30 minutes due to reliability of the local mirrors for our systems. Upon updating we reloaded all system libraries as well as updating user cages. Our use of CageFS which creates separation of users required that the system copy the new bash binary to each user’s Cage.
Upon updating our systems it was shortly revealed that it did not address all scenarios and the risk of remote code execution still existed. CVE-2014-7169 was used to track this flaw which we immediately followed closely awaiting for a patch to be available. Once this patch was available we once again had all systems updated within 30 minutes.
As of this moment we have taken additional steps by installing Litespeed 4.2.16 on all systems which actively filters the bash shell shock vulnerability. While not necessary it just adds an additional layer of protection to all our systems.
If you’re running a virtual private server with us we did not login to your VPS and patch this vulnerability. If you’re running cPanel on CentOS 5 or CentOS 6 and you have automatic updates turned on you should be updated within the next 24 hours. If you do not you will need to manually upgrade yourself. If you have any questions about this we encourage you to contact our support team and they can assist you.
I hope this addresses any questions regarding the shell shock vulnerability and how it affected Hawk Host as well as you. If you have any questions of course contact our support team.
Lately, a lot of folks have been asking questions along the lines of “What makes you different?” or “Why should I host with you?”. This made me think, maybe a quick Q&A of some basic facts about our company would help clear up just what it is we’re all about.
Awesome web hosting ;)
We’re quite happy to announce that our newest datacenter is now online and accepting orders! Right smack in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, this highly connected and extremely reliable facility will improve on our already expansive global presence. Our Los Angeles datacenter was opened with the focus of catering to users from the Asia/Pacific region and we believe our network will be top notch!
Hawk Host in LA? Yes!
It’s a week full of holidays and celebrations here at Hawk Host. Last week we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, and this week we’re celebrating two holidays! As we’re a Canadian company we spent Tuesday honoring Canada Day, and now that the 4th of July is fast approaching it’s time to acknowledge the day for our American coworkers, friends, and customers. As part of our continued celebrations we’re holding a 4th of July sale which will save you up to 60% on your new hosting order!
Go Canada! Go USA!