The Montreal-based web hosting provider, Web Hosting Canada (WHC), reveals the cause of the significant outage that happened this past weekend in a blog post on its website.
Web Hosting Canada (WHC) reported an incident that severely disrupted operations on Saturday. According to their blog post, an aggrieved third party caused the incident.
The individual with a third-party service provider used their privileged account access to connect to one of WHC’s datacenter’s management portals the morning of August 28 at approximately 6 AM. The person then initiated server reimaging on some of Web Hosting Canada’s backup and production servers without any authorization.
The response team of Web Hosting Canada identified the issue within hours of the incident. They secured the environment and disabled the individual’s access to the source account to prevent further damage.
However, few major systems, including production and backup servers, were already damaged. The third party also affected many web hosting and reseller hosting accounts, leading to a permanent data loss.
The Cloud, Dedicated, Weebly, and Managed WordPress accounts were largely unaffected.
— WHC.CA (@WebHostCanada) August 30, 2021
The Web Hosting Canada team managed to recover successfully (or is in the process of recovering) over 50% of the lost accounts.
However, several production servers and their respective backup servers are still in an unrecoverable state. Unfortunately, data recovery experts state that the chances of recovery are very low.
Consequently, Web Hosting Canada has switched its primary focus from data recovery to starting fresh on new, clean accounts. Even so, they will continue the attempts for data recovery.
Emil Falcon, who serves the role of CEO at Web Hosting Canada, had this to say:
On behalf of WHC, I would like to extend our sincere apologies to those affected by this unfortunate situation. With the cooperation of those particular clients affected by the incident, we believe that we can greatly minimize the consequences stemming from this involuntary incident.
Web Hosting Canada remains committed to delivering quality and affordable hosting solutions to its customers.
If you are a WHC client with an adequate local backup, you can contact the support team of Web Hosting Canada. In turn, they will get you up and running on a new account.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a local backup, you will need to start over from a bare, empty account. WHC has activated new, free hosting accounts for each impacted domain, called LifeBoat. You can access them from the Client Area to quickly start over for free.
WHC will provide the LifeBoat accounts free of charge until at least January 1, 2022.