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Total Internet Solutions : Scammed...anything I can do?

by nataku_0 / December 5, 2012 5:18 PM PST

Saw a thread about this, but I decided to make a new one because mine is a peculiar thing.

My site hosted by them got hacked and the frontpage defaced.

So I put in a ticket. And they called me and said they are shutting my account down because BY LAW they have to. And so I lose everything, including my hosting, which I have more than a year left.

So I didn't know any better at the time and hung up. But is this real? Like I have never heard that you lose your hosting completely because of hacking....

ANd if they are lying, is there anything I can do?? Please help :/ thanks!

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The site would have to go down while you fix it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 6, 2012 4:39 AM PST

There is no way that a defaced site should stay up. So they are right it has to go down.

As to losses the only losses I see is the usual web author that didn't backup their site. The fees are usually no problem and I can't discuss that aspect. But the brutal truth is that many learn about backup this way. Go figure when the moderators here mention it so often.

I can't help you get your site back. You have to ask them what steps it takes.

-> And let's be sure you are not logging in from some free wifi hotspot. I've lost count how many times...

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From a security stand point
by Sovereign Forum moderator / December 6, 2012 6:18 AM PST

yes, it's probably very wise to place the site into maintenance mode to analyze the damage. If it was strictly just defaced and you knew exactly how it happened, then the hosting company could really care less as to how your website looks to the public, but considering that the site was breached, without analyzing that breach in detail, it's very difficult to tell and assume that there isn't anything malicious going on.

That said, while the site may be down, you should still have access to it from an administrative point of view i.e. there should be a way for you to analyze and recover your files. Unless the hosting company believes that there is active, malicious activity on your server that could spread, you should have access to all of your files.

While hosting companies can often check logs and aid a little bit with the investigation, it mostly falls on you. Now, good hosting companies keep daily back-ups of your site, however if this is a shared hosting company, there's a good chance you're out of luck in that department, because it wouldn't be feasible for them to maintain back-ups for all their shared users unless they charged more for it.

Depending on what kind of system you're running on your site, the best way to resolve this is to reinstall the content management system/framework you are using, back-up all of your data from the old database, and then import it into the fresh installation.

Lastly, if you had user accounts on the site, it might not be a bad idea to have everyone change their password, just as a precaution.

As a side note for the future, a product I like is OSSEC. I use it monitor all of my websites for activity, specifically, file changes. It reports them in real-time and allows me to see what's happening. While I do have daily, weekly and monthly back-ups, if only one file changed, I would be able to revert back to it without having to restore the entire website.


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I may have not been clear
by nataku_0 / December 6, 2012 9:03 AM PST

Hi, thanks for replying guys.

I may not have been clear, though. I don't care that the site was deleted or anything. It wasn't anything big.
What I am asking about is whether they have a right to delete my hosting account.

What I mean is that I paid $170 to have 2 years of hosting. Now it's ok if my site was gone, and they told me to start over. But that is not what happened. They said they are TERMINATING my hosting, so even though I have over a year of hosting left, they are not allowing me to host any site with them anymore, UNLESS I RENEW, which I assume is a scam to get me to pay more money.

I mean, I get they have to delete everything. But is it right that I lose hosting services? Did I not pay for that??

UPDATE: I contacted them and they emailed me back. This is the email:

Thank you for contacting us about your web hosting account. Every web hosting company has there own TOS and AUP. Please provide us with the phone number to your lawyer and we would be more than happy to have council contact them. We do not issue refunds for unused potion of services and have the right to charge a clean up fee when a site is hacked. The clean up fee is $199 which supersedes the amount that you paid us for hosting and in good faith we will not charge you for this. It is a liability issue for us to allow you into your account once it has been hacked. If a virus was to enter your computer or the customer of a visitor of your site we could be held liable. We do not take this chance. We are happy to open a new account for you and move the time you have remaining from this account to the new account if you decide to pay the clean up fee. Please take note that the account is your responsibility and it is also your responsibility to make sure that all software on your account is updated when needed. We do not take any responsibility for this matter.

Is this normal practice? A $199 cleanup fee??

This is totalinternetsolutions.com
I don't see anything that I understand as a right for them to suspend accounts when the hack is not my fault....

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I'd say that this is not normal
by Sovereign Forum moderator / December 7, 2012 2:16 PM PST

behavior. Most hosting companies I have experience with would place the site into maintenance mode, allow you to clean up your site, verify the clean-up and then reactivate your account/hosting.

That said, if this was always their policy and you agreed to it during registration/sign-up, then that is how that particular host does business.


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