We are sending out this communication today in an effort to make customers more aware of the implications of weak Email passwords. This week we have seen a large number of customer's Email accounts compromised and used to send out spam, simply due to very weak passwords. This is becoming an increasing problem.

When a spammer gets hold of your Email account password, they simply login and start to send out thousands of emails. This is a very serious problem and it can cause our servers to become blacklisted, which can have an impact on your service. If your Email account is used to send spam and we identify it, your account will be suspended which will take your whole hosting plan offline until the matter is resolved. This causes an inconveneince to you and to us.

Your web hosting account is running from a public network. Anyone can try and login to your Email from anywhere in the world and these days the techniques used to compromise accounts are becoming more and more sophisticated. Brute force attacks are very effective over long periods of time and while we have software in place to try and prevent these kinds of attacks, a weak password will always be cracked eventually. On the other hand, accounts that are protected by strong passwords will almost never be compromised.

We would also like to remind customers of section 12.4 of our terms of service...

12.4 It is the Customer’s responsibility to keep any passwords relating to the Services confidential and to change such passwords on a regular basis. The Customer will notify the Company immediately if it becomes aware that a password relating to the Services is or may have been compromised or misused. The customer agrees to ensure their passwords are strong, containing a combination of letters and numbers with mixed case and without simple words.

We have written a document containing essential Email security advice which can be found in our Knowledge base at the link below. We must ask you to please read this document and make sure that your Email passwords are strong.

Essential Email Security Advice

If you have recently started to receive lots of delivery failures for messages you did not send, then it is likley that your account is being used to send spam. You should change your password immediately. To change your Email account password, please follow the steps below...

1. Login to your cpanel interface on your hosting account.

2. Click  Email Accounts.

3. Click Change Password next to the account password you want to change. You can either enter your own password, or use the password generator.

4. Once the boxes are filled with a strong password, Click the Change Password button.

This communication has already been sent out to all customers with an active hosting plan, but we have added it here to our news section also. Please take heed of this advice. You may not think this could happen to you, but if your passwords are not strong enough, it will. There really should be no reason for your account to be used maliciously as long as you ensure that your passwords are strong and you maintain your computers with a good anti virus program.

As always, should you need any assistance at all, please raise a support ticket with the helpdesk and a member of staff will be more than happy to help.

Kind regards,

The 4UH Support team.

Friday, February 21, 2014