We will be conducting a series of maintenances over the course of the weekend in order to improve our service and enhance our product offerings. These maintenances will begin early Saturday morning and will run into early Monday morning. There may be short intermittent periods where some of our web services may be offline although these will be cascaded over the course of the weekend for different services including databases, web, and email. We thank you for your patience during these necessary upgrades and service maintenances.
As we are aware that many Huevia customers have wordpress installations across our web hosting environment, we want to make you aware of attacks targeting CMS (content management system) sites but more specifically wordpress sites. Over the past few days many hosting companies have reported massive wordpress installations hacked and used to attack other websites, including financial institutions.
It does not appear that any major security exploit is being utilized for these attacks, instead the attacks are targeted at wordpress sites that are using “admin” as username and commonly used passwords. Once the admin account is accessed various malicious scripts are injected into the wordpress install.
While we do our best to secure our network and servers from all types of attacks, this attack is happening at a global level and is highly distributable in nature (most of the IP’s used are spoofed), making it difficult for us to block all malicious data.
To ensure that your websites are secure and safeguarded from this attack, we recommend the following steps:
- Update and upgrade your wordpress installation and all installed plugins
- Install the security plugin listed here
- Ensure that your admin password is secure and preferably randomly generated
- Other ways of Hardening a WordPress installation are shared at http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress
These additional steps can be taken to further secure wordpress websites:
- Remove README and license files (important) since this exposes version information
- Move wp-config.php to one directory level up, and change its permission to 400
- Prevent world reading of the htaccess file
- Restrict access to wp-admin only to specific IPs
- A few more plugins – wp-security-scan, wordpress-firewall, ms-user-management, wp-maintenance-mode, ultimate-security-scanner, wordfence, http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/better-wp-security/. These may help in several occasions
Earlier today we launched Huevia’s domain registration platform to our UK sister site http://www.huevia.co.uk. Although many of our customers have registered domains though Huevia while working with us personally, Huevia has never offered a self service domain registration platform. Today we took a step in making that happen by launching this new platform. The new platform allows for domain registrations and domain transfers and is a self-servicing portal. We are excited to bring this to our customers and we will be rolling this out to our US site in the near future as well as bringing web hosting services through the UK site. You may read about it here.
The first day of Spring has arrived and it might be time for a little spring cleaning and organization. We couldn’t think of a better time to introduce some of our users to our SmarterMail calendar included with your webmail. Using a calendar is a great way to schedule tasks and events to help you fullfill your short and long term goals. Huevia’s calendar is a fully featured calendar and can sync with your MS Outlook or Apple iCal applications. Here is a quick rundown of Huevia’s calendar features
- Fully configurable appointments with optional recurrence rules
- Email notification and notification of upcoming appointments
- Calendar Sharing
- Task Integration
- Attendee and invitation status tracking
- Availability information about attendees
- Configurable default views – either daily, weekly, monthly or all appointment views
- Integration with Outlook and iCal and any Smartphone
We have added how to sync your applications with our Calendaring system. Click on the link below to take you to the support article for your specific application.
We are big fans of the LA Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles and have been attending this event on a regular basis for numerous years. If your not familiar with the Downtown Los Angles Art Walk event, it is a monthly event held on the second Tuesday of the Spring/Summer months and was started a few years back to showcase the numerous art galleries, local artists, restaurants, bars, gourmet food trucks, and local small business located in the Downtown Los Angeles area. The event always turns out a large crowd and is always a lot of fun with a lot to see and experience and is usually a great time and excuse to meet up with a group of friends.
Tonights feature will be a group show about a novel The Freak Table, by Gavin Hignight. Various artists will exhibit their work with the subject being album art and their perception on classic punk and post-punk albums. Kind of scary to think that punk is already considered a classic genre. Bad Religion is still on tour, Dead Kennedys just announced some new tour dates, and the Misfits just released an album this year! Punk may be classic but it is definitely not dead! This exhibit will be held in the Lounge at 634 Spring St.
“Ladies in Animation” also seems to be a really cool exhibit that will showcase the work of female animators Victoria Ying, Sho Murase, Helen Mingjue Chen, Nicole Mitchell, Clio Chiang, Griselda Sastrawinata, Anna Chambers, Lorelay Bove, Claire Keane, Fawn Veerasunthorn, Brittney Lee, Kendelle Hoyer, Lissa Treiman, and Pamela Tu.These ladies have worked for some of the largest studios including Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks but their work transcends beyond the studios and is featured in graphic novels and advertising as well. This exhibit will be held at GR Works studio on 4th St.
There are also dozens of galleries, restaurants, and bars to explore. Here are some that we will be be checking out tonight.
We want to thank everyone who participated in our first quarterly survey. We have a great worldwide community of users and we had a great response rate with tons of input. Most helpful to us has been the open comments on each question more so than the questions themselves. We are still going through all the responses from our users, but we have already begun making small changes based on some of the constructive feedback we have received thus far. We also realize we have a ton of work to do before the next survey goes out in March. By then We plan on implementing some of your many suggestions. Most importantly building an actual knowledge base and FAQ for the Huevia community which is something Huevia has never had and something we have been planning prior to this survey. This will be high on the priority list for the first quarter so look for this in the near future. Again thanks to all who participated in this first survey and we hope many more of you will participate in our next survey in March!
So we promised everyone changes in 2013 and we would like to start by informing everyone that we will be conducting a quarterly customer satisfaction survey at the start of every quarter in which we hope to get feedback from our customers about our service. Most of you should have received the first of these surveys last week. The survey will be no more than ten questions and will take less than five minutes to complete. We hope that all of you take the opportunity to tell us how we are doing and help us to improve. Quarterly surveys will help to see how well we are listening. Constructive criticism is crucial in helping us ensure we are delivering a quality service.
We thought we would start the new year off right by creating this fresh new blog! First of all we want to wish all of our customers a very happy new year and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. We hope everyone is poised to have an amazing and productive year! Many of you have asked us for a blog to help keep you informed on what’s going on behind the scenes, keep you up to date with any issues that might arise, or inform you of any maintenance going on. We hope this will just be another channel for us to keep in communication with our customers. We also hope to bring valuable tips on using our hosting platform including the control panel, the email platform, and things that may come in handy.
There were a lot of changes with Huevia in 2012. Most notable the change of ownership during the summer from Deviathan, LLC to 405 Networks, LLC. This transition did not go as smooth as we would have liked. There was definitely a failure on our part to keep everyone informed because of the extremely small window of time in which this transfer needed to occur. Many things were happening behind the scenes that were very fluid and complex. Many of you voiced your opinions during this transition and we got to know a lot of our customers during this time, as well as what you do, what some of your needs are, and also some of your frustrations. Lessons were learned and we feel we owe some of you an explanation as to what was happening.
During this migration several key things were happening to improve the quality of the Huevia service.The biggest challenge for us was a complete overhaul of the email platform from Horde to the SmarterMail Platform. Thousands of users across thousands of domains were transferred within days. For most, this went off without a hitch. For others there were issues and we have since addressed the vast majority of these. We hope our email users now see the value and have enjoyed the many benefits of the SmarterMail Email platform over Hord. The SmarterMail Email Platform is a much improved email platform and is one of the cornerstones of our service.
The second biggest thing that was happening was a consolidation of databases to a redundant MySQL cluster for users who had databases associated with their web sites. Databases were being migrated while applications were being updated on the fly. This did several things. First, it separated the web servers from the database servers so each server could perform its job more efficiently. This also had the benefit of offloading the web servers for overall better performance of your web sites. Secondly, it set the stage to automatically replicate your databases data in real time to another server which can be failed over to automatically in a matter of seconds in case the primary database server goes down. This has the benefit of improving the uptime of your website. Third, it created a real time backup of your data in order for us to have a centralized point in which to backup your databases from without impacting the performance of your websites.
The third major thing that was occuring during the migration was an upgrade to the Plesk 11 control panel which was happening on the fly. There were some major changes to the way in which Plesk 11 functioned in comparison to previous versions of Plesk. These issues were being addressed as they came up and we have since resolved most of these. One major thing that changed was the Mail tab was removed as email users are now controlled via the SmarterMail platform under Settings-> Domain Settings -> Users. We are working to integrate this into the control panel and we will let everyone know when we do. Plesk 11 has many improvements under the hood over the previous versions and we hope you all enjoy the new control panel.
Soon after the main transition additional servers were put in place and users were migrated to these additional servers. There were some users who could not be moved due to the complexity of their many web sites, databases, and applications. Most of these users with many domains we have worked with one on one to migrate their sites to these new servers. We still need to address others and will continue to migrate users to new servers as the need arises.
These were just some of the key things that were happening behind the scenes during the migration. We are aware it has been 5 months since the migration occured but felt we needed to communicate this to all now that we have a new platform (this blog) to do so. Many of you were already aware of these key changes as we have communicated this to you individually during support phone calls or emails. Now everyone should have a better insight into what was occuring. Again we apologize for the lack of communication during this time. We now hope to move forward and continue to improve the quality of our web hosting service.We have a lot of work ahead of us and we definitely have great plans for 2013. We will definitely share more as the year unfolds.
All that being said, we hope everyone has an amazing, creative, and productive year in 2013! Happy New Year!