BLUE HOST AWARDED THE BEST WEB HOSTING COMPANY BY 100WEBHOSTING.COM

Blue host has added another feather to its cap of accolades by being voted as the ‘Best Web Hosting Company’ by a web hosting review site called 100webhosting.com. 100webhosting.com said that Blue Host deserved this honor as it is renowned for its excellent hosting experience, affordable hosting rates, and also has a strong community of clients. Blue Host is very proud of this award as 100 other web hosts were also considered for the same.

Blue Host has been hosting websites for more than 16 years, leading to vast experience of delivering excellent hosting services. They are the sole company who has put $200,000 since 2010 into their dedicated data centers in Utah, US, all in the name of improving the quality of the web hosting service that they provide to their clients. Today, Blue Host continues to grow with 20,000 new customers each month on top of the 2,000,000 clients that they already have.

The number of clients Blue Host has is a proof to the excellent services that they offer. 100Webhosting.com had chosen the winner for the award based on the 61 reviews they had received from Blue Host’s clients. 98% of the reviews are positive with only one being neutral with clients giving favorable feedback on Blue Host’s overall performance, reliability, server speed, technical support and control panel software. The web host isn’t just recommended by 100Webhosting.com; WordPress.org has named Blue Host for the best Word Press hosting while Drupal has also promoted Blue Host as the best Drupal hosting. With these recommendations by Word Press and Drupal itself, Blue Host is definitely the best web host to use on those platforms.

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IT EUROPA AND ANGEL TO HOST UK MANAGED SERVICES AND HOSTING SUMMIT 2013

IT Europa, a European web hosting and news analyst company along with Angel Business Communication is likely to host the UK managed services and hosting summit 2013. The summit is stipulated to be held on February 12, 2013 according to the press release on Friday.

The summit is going to be a management level conference and exhibit, and is going to take place at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel in London. It is aimed at hosting providers, hardware and software vendors, and web service providers who are either providing managed services or hosting via resellers, integrators and service providers, or developing their own managed services portfolio and sales of hosted solutions.

Another inaugural web hosting conference and summit called the Reseller Club Web Hosting is scheduled to be held in Mumbai, India on the 1st and 2nd of November.

The Summit will enable businesses to expand their horizons into the domain of managed and hosting services. It would also help in building strong bonds between existing partnerships.

The conference sessions will tackle such topics as The Role of Managed Services and Hosting Provider, Positioning, Pricing and Projection, Partnering for Success, Aligning Services to Business Objectives, Enabling the Creation of Agile Organisations, Delivering Enterprise-Class Solutions and the Future of the Channel.

The sessions will be complimented by talks from participating vendors and service providers; providing insight into the different services that companies can offer to their customers.

“Advances in technology, economic pressures and evolving business models are combining to fundamentally change role of both IT and telecoms channels,” said Alan Norman, managing director of IT Europa. “The Managed Services & Hosting Summit 2013 provides a unique opportunity for vendors, VARs, integrators and service providers to come together to address the issues and opportunities arising from the surge in customer demand for managed services and hosted delivery models.”

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RESELLER CLUB TO ORGANIZE WEB HOSTING SUMMIT IN MUMBAI

Web hosting and domain registration provider, Reseller Club announced that it would be organizing the Web Hosting Summit in Mumbai. The event has been scheduled for the month of November in association with Verisign, the global registry leader in .com and .net.

The news was made official on their website www.rchostingsummit.com. The Reseller Club organized event is slated to be the first of its kind event held in India. It is estimated to be one of the largest, and grand scale events aimed at the country’s web community. The event will feature a number of leaders from the Internet industry such as Tim Cole, Senior Director of Registrar Relations, ICANN; Nancy Goofus, Chief Operating Officer, P.I.R;Manish Dalal, Vice President, Verisign, Asia Pacific, and several others.

Bhavin Turakhia, Founder of Reseller Club said, “Since we opened up registrations about 2 weeks ago, we have already received close to 3000 registrations for the summit. We are extremely thrilled with the response that we have received and this is only an indicator of the need for a platform where people from the industry can get together and exchange ideas.”

“Reseller Club Hosting Summit will be a forum where participants will get an opportunity to interact and share their insights on trending Industry issues. There will be over 35 exhibitors showcasing cutting edge products and services, 12 knowledge sharing sessions and 2 keynote presentations delivered by Industry veterans,” said Shridhar Luthria, General Manager of ResellerClub. “This is an excellent opportunity for delegates to gain knowledge, network with their peers and exchange ideas about the industry,” added Shridhar.

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Ethical Hacking –Know How

Let me ask you this, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say” hacker”?  Most possibly you will picture a guy sitting at a bus station typing out codes with ferocity on his ultra book and somewhere down the road, the entire server room of the FBI crashes. Well truth be told, Hollywood has considerably exaggerated this habit of certain individuals and in reality, hackers are people who just enjoy fiddling around with software source code and hardware gigs. Now, there are government organizations and high profile businesses that are always on the lookout for people who have this recreational interest. These types of hackers are aptly termed as ethical hackers. Yes, these people hack systems for a living. Now before you decide to embark on this career path (let’s face it, it is alluring and completely unorthodox), note down a few pointers.

Build an impressive skill set, even social skills

To make a substantial impact in your financial status by working in this field, you should be marketable. To get there, you will need relevant experience with various certifications under your belt. Getting a degree with computer major is also a very good idea as that will provide you with the exposure in the IT industry. Good thing is, once you have locked all these down and have got a significant professional experience, you can even work as a consultant.

Being an ethical hacker, you will need to communicate a lot, yes; you cannot pose as a loner with a laptop for company. Communication with different parties is the key here.For this, developing your soft skills will come in handy. A strong work ethic with people skills are some of tricks of the trade. Remember, if you are good communicator, you will be able to manipulate people to disclose credentials or execute files (for research/investigation purposes)

What kind of skills are we talking about?

This is a very important question. To be a professional hacker, you need to get the right certifications and get approved by the right organizations. Start with getting certification in technical support. This is pivotal as it reveals a lot of information s about systems, languages and how different portals and channels operate. Security certifications like CISSP, Security+, or TICSA are especially fruitful. Once you have this entire batch covered, move forward to get the ultimate certification- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification from the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants, also known as the EC-Council. This certification training module covers topics like viruses, Trojan horses, backdoors, denial of service attacks, system hacking, session hijacking.

Keep updating yourself:

Fields like ethical hacking are ever changing. That’s why keeping oneself updated is pertinent. If you are serious about the field, this will help you develop an edge over others. Reading materials offer valuable insights on the inner working of hacking, session hijacking and even gives a know-how about the industry itself.

Temptation can be a sin

Even ethical hacking can drag you down to the murky waters of system abuse. Why? Think about it, you have a sea of information about a client or even a competitor. Naturally, most people are tempted to explore which may lead to intruding networks without full permission, among other things. Instances like illegal hacking can do a lot of damage to your career, not to mention to chances of becoming a tax paying citizen of the country.

Bottom line is, resist the temptation. No information is permanently deleted, even if you cover your tracks, technology will catch up and it will reveal quite a bit about you. Be sensible and maintain the ethic quotient and it is assured that this career path will take you forward.

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Peer1 Hosting Gets PCI DSS Certification

Peer1 hosting, one of the leading web hosting providers in the U.K recently announced that it has attained the coveted Level 1 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification foe its managed hosting and colocation services across the globe.

For web hosts, a certification like the PCI DSS is an expected feature in the dedicated server environment. PEER 1′s clients who specialize in handling and processing customer card details and transactions are easily supported in a PCI environment. Data security and effective compliance are found to be the key drivers for businesses which process credit card transactions.PCI DSS is a set of  industry standards which make sure that the there is always enhanced payment data security and it is also authorized by major credit card companies.

“PEER 1 is committed to delivering IT infrastructure solutions that remove the security challenges and complexities our customers face,” said Fabio Banducci, president and CEO at PEER 1. “Meeting the standards set by the Payment Card Industry Security Council allows us to offer customers a single process that meets their compliance needs while allowing them to do what they do best – run their businesses.”

The PCI DSS standard audit was conducted by a third party security evaluator, who conducted several inspections regarding PEER 1′s procedures, policies, technical systems and technology infrastructure, where the web host met all the 12 PCI DSS requirements.

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Infinity Virtual and McAfee Come together to Create SaaS total protection suite

Web hosting provider Infinity Virtual recently announced that they have joined forces with McAfee to offer their SaaS total protection suite. The suite offers services such as endpoint, email, Internet, and network security. This announcement came after Infinitely Virtual began offering QuickBooks financial management software to its customers via the cloud. The McAfee SaaS Total Protection service is available to Infinitely Virtual clients on a monthly basis or by annual subscription.

Usually web hosting service providers choose several different security providers to offer a wide range of security services, but this move by Infinity Virtual is one of the ways to save money.the brand name , McAfee also makes it easier to acquire clients.

“Our clients asked for an all-in-one solution and we’ve responded by partnering with an industry leader in the security space,” Adam Stern, founder and CEO, Infinitely Virtual said in a statement. “With McAfee, we’re delivering end-to-end protection, enabling customers to receive immediate, up-to-the-minute threat protection to ensure that data, systems, and networks are instantly and consistently secure. McAfee nicely complements our intrusion detection and prevention system, which goes beyond the firewall to stop malware, phishing, SQL injection and other aggressive threats.”

McAfee SaaS Total Protection includes host-based and cloud-based web filtering, cloud-based email filtering and continuity, email server security and real-time updating across desktops, servers and networks.

Early this year, McAfee provided services to fix spam issues with the use of the total protection suite. Also last month marked the day when Infinitely Virtual began offering a hosted product based on Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012.

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Layer 7 DDoS Attack Prevented by Prolexic

The global leader in Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) protection services, Prolexic, announced that it mitigated an application later attack for VirtualRoad.org. This web hosting company based in Scandinavia provides a safe web presence for global, independent news media and human rights organizations that are denied freedom of expression in their home countries.

Unlike more common bandwidth floods aimed at the network (Layer 3) or transportation (Layer 4) layers, application layer (Layer 7) attacks can be structured to overload specific elements of an application server infrastructure. Even simple attacks – for example those targeting login pages with random user IDs and passwords, or repetitive random “searches” on dynamic web sites – can critically overload CPUs and databases.

Security Operations Center (SOC) at Prolexic determined with speed the type of attack and discovered that it was launched through a large multi hop proxy network in order to mask the attackers’ source IP address. The company prevented an attack that could have brought down the site for many days or weeks.

“Launching DDoS attacks for politically and ideologically motivated purposes is not new, but is increasing in frequency,” said Neal Quinn, chief operating officer at Prolexic. “This illustrates the ubiquity of DDoS and that targets are no longer limited to high profile commercial web sites.”

As part of an agreement with Prolexic, VirtualRoad.org can leverage resources at Prolexic’s SOC to prevent large and complex attacks that are beyond the capacity and capabilities of its own network and technicians.

“The collaboration between VirtualRoad.org and Prolexic works extremely well because we can leverage Prolexic’s proven experience in protecting large enterprises against DDoS attacks to give our social justice clients more peace of mind,” said Thomas Hughes, director, Media Frontiers, the parent company of VirtualRoad.org. “Our partnership with Prolexic is now a crucial element of our mitigation services, and thanks to Prolexic’s proven expertise, our clients can continue their freedom of expression without disruption, even in an increasingly hostile web environment.”

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Hosting Metro Acquires Goleman Networks

Hosting Metro Inc, a company with 13 years of experience in providing web hosting services, has taken over Goleman Networks. The company will maintain existing operations and will expand available web hosting options in Salt Lake City Metro area C7 data center. It recently began utilizing CA cloud infrastructure services to deliver comprehensive and secure cloud solutions for its customers. Services include Hyper-V, VMware and self service clouds. Combined with their existing VPS, dedicated servers and shared web hosting services, customers now have many options to support their businesses.

Matt McKinney, Managing Director of Hosting Metro stated, “By acquiring Goleman Networks, we looked to expand our west coast web hosting operations by adding another strategic location and more importantly by integrating Goleman Networks development and consulting teams with our already reliable web hosting infrastructure, customers now have the infrastructure and professional services to compete in today’s business market at a very competitive price point.”

 Cory Goleman, former CEO of Goleman Networks has agreed to stay on with the new company and will continue to provide consultation services focused on the regional development community. “Hosting Metro is a great company. I continue to be impressed by their ability to deliver leading technologies at cost effective prices, and their support team is really unparalleled in the industry. When you combine those elements with their solid infrastructure, it is truly a winning scenario for their hosting customers.”

 Hosting Metro is committed to developing new services and providing premium technical support to meet the needs of its customers. As a SSAE 16 Type II provider, they deliver 100% network uptime and a total money back guarantee. The company strives to improve productivity& profitability of their customers along with empowering them to achieve their goals.

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Scripting and Security

It is so easy to forget about security when you first start out scripting your own interactive content; so long as it does what you want it to, does it really matter that someone with a bit of knowledge can see the script configuration files? Yes it does! Once hackers know a bit more about the server environment, they can use that to try known exploits that will open the server so they can get access to it; and once they get it, only they know what they will do with the information!

Fortunately there are a few simple, but often overlooked, techniques that you can use to minimize the risk of exposing your server through poor scripting. I’m going to discuss a few here.

Identifying Entry Points

The most common way of getting access to a server is through a script that processes data from an outside source (either another script or user input); so your first priority should be to secure any scripts that process any tainted data (the name given to data that isn’t generated by the script).

Other security issues can arise from people “discovering” data files that are used for running a script. Basic password protection through the use of .htaccess or putting these kind of data directories and files out of reach should be enough to thwart the curious visitor looking for an easy way to get some control over the site.

The more determined someone is to get access to your server, the more they will probe your site looking for scripts, software or server configurations that have known security issues. In some cases all it takes is for a certain combination of letters and symbols passed in a query string to fool the server into passing scripts as plain text. It would be a good idea to keep your scripts and software up to date; while the new versions of the software may still be buggy, the more commonly known exploits of older software should be fixed.

FormMail is a very well known script; however recently there was a bug discovered that allowed anyone who knew about the exploit to use the script to send out spam mail. While the problem has since been fixed, there will still be a lot of servers that are running the old version and so run the risk of having their IP addresses put on the mail blacklist.

Never Assume that Data is Safe

Be careful not to fall into the trap of assuming that your online forms will be used the way they were designed; even the naive visitors that fill in forms for the fun of it with various symbols can break open a script. To reduce problems caused by unexpected data, you should make sure that data is preprocessed before using it as valid input.

There are two places where you can check the input that comes from your visitors; on the client side, and on the server side. While both have their benefits and drawbacks, you should be careful not to rely entirely on client side validation as it could easily be bypassed.

Client Side Validation

To validate data on the client side you have to ensure that there is support for the scripting language (either JavaScript or VBScript) and that it is enabled on the visitors’ browser. Where you can be sure that either is available; then it can save a round trip to the script should any data be invalid. The problem of dealing with browsers that cannot handle the client side scripts still remains, although careful planning of form field sizes and data options can reduce the number of invalid field entries.

Server Side Validation

The best thing about validating the input on the server is that your visitors don’t need to meet any specific browser requirements. Of course validating on the server side can be much more demanding on server resources, but it does help to catch any invalid data that comes into the script directly or happens to make it past any client side filters you created.

Dangerous Data Types

Its all very well knowing that certain user input can be dangerous, but exactly what kind of data can be hostile if run directly by your scripts? Well, there is no easy answer, as it will depend on what your script is doing with the data, but there are some data types or patterns you can look out for.

HTML Code – may not seem like a threat in itself, but if your script is set up to allow HTML code of any form, be sure to strip out any comments; otherwise it might be possible for visitors to start scripts with a SSI call with some undesirable effects.

Symbols and Special Characters – could easily be mistaken as part of an escape character or variable with unexpected results. More likely to break a script than expose a server.

File Paths – be very careful to restrict the directories and paths you allow your script to access; filter out all requests to back out of a directory (../) as this is a popular way of getting access to otherwise inaccessible directories.

Keeping it under wraps

Another good idea is to hide as much of the data transferred between your visitors and the server as possible. Writing your script so that it will only accept valid data from a form that uses the POST method, not only keeps the information out of the URL that your users see, but makes more work for those people that try to break into a script by passing data through the URL. For extra protection you could even make it so that your script checks that the form used is actually on your own site; be aware however that the HTTP_REFERRER header that is commonly used to achieve this sort of protection can be forged.

Conclusion

While there are other more complex ways of gaining access to a server, I hope that I have made you aware of some of the more common ways that undesirables will try to get access to your server. By taking the extra time in pre-processing any tainted data, you can go quite a long way in making scripts more secure.

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