… They Just Can’t Let Go.
Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.
– Michael Corleone
Usually when I encounter a client who is on a cheap website host, I download their website, clean it of all malicious files, secure it, and set it up on our servers and all is well. With a recent client, however, I noticed something new happening. Hack attempts from infected computers on the cheap host (GoDaddy in this case) were still attacking the website after I moved it.
Have you ever seen the movie Constantine with Keanu Reeves? There’s a scene where Keanu (Constantine) goes to Hell to find a lost soul, and then when he escapes, the demons try to grab him.
This is what happened, except instead of Hell, it was GoDaddy.
You see, when you host with one of these cheap discount hosting companies, your website is on a computer with thousands of others. The server’s security is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore if one of those sites gets infected, there’s a very strong chance that your site will get infected also. Once the server is compromised, all the sites are infected.
While hosted on GoDaddy
This is scary, but it’s fixable. With this latest client, I removed their site from Godaddy, cleaned it up, set it up on my server, and found that it was still under attack. It never got infected but attempts showed up in the logs. I delved in and found the IP address from which the attacks originated were coming from GoDaddy.
After We Took The Site Over
Obviously, GoDaddy do not offer the service of website attacking (although if they did, it would cost $1.99/month), so it was apparent that the GoDaddy server was still overrun with malicious hacks and were attacking the website based on the domain name, as if to say “You may have escaped, but we are not done with you yet!”
I blocked all web traffic coming from GoDaddy, and the attacks stopped. This is the great thing about web hosting, there’s very little mystery. Everything is tracked, the data is inarguable, and the solutions are black and white. And just like a needy ex, who won’t let go, sometimes you just need to block them.
This is definitely one of the craziest things I’ve seen. I understand it, but it left me with the scientific conclusion that I literally cannot even.