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Website downtime: hacked host or “technical issues?”

Someone like him may have hacked our host site Were we hacked or not?

New Albany, MS- Whether resulting from our web host site having being hacked or from other “technical” issues, the NAnewsweb.com site was down for several hours yesterday.

Websites like NAnewsweb.com can exist on the internet scene in one of two basic ways. Either the site can own its own server or it can “rent” shared space from an on-line hosting site. Not having the expertise, desire or money to own our own server, NAnewsweb.com, like most sites, uses a hosting site. BlueHost is our web hosting site and, up until yesterday, the relationship had been a good one.

It was around 5:00 PM when we realized that the site was not accessible, and began searching for the problem. The first thing one does is to check an “is it down?’ page. The first page we checked said BlueHost was up and doing fine, that the problem must be with the website. Looking further into the issue, and attempting to contact support at BlueHost, led to the sure knowledge that our host site was down, and had been down for almost two hours, a typically unheard of amount of time.

A forty minute wait on the support line brought the information from a BlueHost support tech that they had “been hacked out of China,” taking down with them an untold number of the two million or so sites they host (for a minimum of $265 per year each). You do the math.

Nothing to do but wait, and hope the website is whole when it comes back on line.. And wait we did…for nine more hours. At about 2:00 AM the web carried the news that BlueHost was back on line and most “shared server” sites like ours were working. Unfortunately ours was not up.

Back to the phones, and another long wait. After 50 minutes of hanging on for a tech person, the site popped back to life at 3:00 AM–and was intact.

As I write this post, there are still sites down–mostly sites that pay much larger fees that we pay, in hope of receiving premium service.

There is, as usual, little understandable information available from any creditable source detailing the problem that caused this huge failure. Was BlueHost hacked, or not  The BlueHost site, at various times, said: “an electrical transient,” “problems with network flapping,” “other network issues in our switching fabric,” ” a network loop.” Not a word about China hackers, and it is possible that China was not involved…this time.

As my Dad used to say: “You pay your dime; you take your chance.” Our entire country is paying its dime and taking its chance that no one will succeed in taking down the USA’s communication network. Is there anyone out there who really believes that to be the case?

For further information on a few times when China was involved:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/06/why-the-biggest-government-hack-ever-got-past-opm-dhs-and-nsa/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/18/politics/juniper-networks-us-government-security-hack/

China hack exposes millions of US workers

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