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VAServ hacker damages 100,000 websites

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Hackers managed to get root access to a large Internet Service Provider, reportedly via a zero day vulnerability over the weekend, and destroy data from 100,000 websites as a result. The UK-based ISP, VAServ, has stated that the attackers apparently exploited a vulnerability in virtualisation software called HyperTM in order to gain access to the servers.

It would appear that around 100,000 of the websites hosted at Vaserv had data destroyed in one hit on Sunday, possibly courtesy of a recursive delete 'rm -rf' Unix command. Unfortunately, many VAServ customers have an unmanaged account with no data backup. It is estimated that half the sites hosted at VAServ are still offline as a result.

The compromise has all the hallmarks of being a highly targeted SQL injection attack on the ISP's central management software, a deliberate infrastructure breach rather than kiddies doing random scanning according to a spokesman for VAServ.

A VAServ statement admits "We have worked tirelessly through the night and over the last 48 hours to recover as many VPS as possible. However, we have now reached the end of all of our servers, and as such, if your server is not currently up, or not partly up (i.e. it is up but not working due to a configuration issue) then it is unfortunate that you will have lost your data due to this third party attack."

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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

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Oh boy, this one just gets worse and worse: looks like the boss of the company that developed HyperVM has killed himself. He was found hanged in his Bangalore house.

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