(The Hosting News) – Botnet operators are unfortunately taking advantage of commodity cloud providers to employ their tactics at an increasing rate: That’s the finding web host Firehost recently revealed at the BlackHat security convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The statistics came as part of the company’s quarterly Superfecta report.

Firehost says cyberattacks relying on things like SQL injections, CSRF, Directory Traversal and XSS pose “the most serious threat to businesses.”

“Detailing almost 24 million cyberattacks, FireHost has seen a large percentage increase in the number of common Web attacks such as SQL Injection and Cross-Site Request Forgery. This increase can be attributed to ease of automation, enabling hackers to combine these techniques to quickly and surreptitiously steal data, install malware on servers, assimilate new botnet zombies or simply take down a site,” explained the company via a press release.

Overall, the company found that attacks tracked by Superfecta increased by 6% during the quarter. The most prevalent type? XSS. SQL injects, meanwhile, represented 18% of the attacks while CSRF encompassed 26%.

Firehost, a provider of services including Secure Cloud along with enterprise solutions, is currently exhibiting at booth #621 at BlackHat. The convention is set to conclude tomorrow. To view Firehost’s report, visit Firehost.com here.

Source: Botnets Increasingly Taking Advantage of the Commodity Cloud


(The Hosting News) – Hosting provider Webair on Tuesday announced a mobile version of its EZPanel Control Panel – something that is available to all the company’s customers.

Functionality supports deploying cloud servers, configuring SMS alerts, monitoring, management and more.

“With the addition of EZPanel Mobile, our customers can easily and conveniently manage all their hosting resources from its user friendly interface, from server reboots and database management to monitoring bandwidth and storage right their phone or tablet,” commented Webair CTO Sagi Brody via a press release.

Webair’s services include cloud, hosting, web development, domain registration and more.

Source: Webair Adds Mobile Version of EZPanel


(The Hosting News) – DataBank, Ltd., a leading custom data center and colocation provider based in Dallas, announced a new suite of service offerings available to clients that includes security services and enhances client visibility of their colocated IT equipment and infrastructure housed within the company’s world-class data centers.

The service rollout will include an expansion of data collection and monitoring with the addition of DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management), “IT Stack” monitoring tools, and security solutions for Threat Management, Log Management, Scanning, and DDoS Mitigation.

“DataBank delivers the very highest-level infrastructure and environments in the markets we serve, and layering in these new services was a logical extension to our portfolio,” said Mike Gentry, DataBank VP of Operations. “We are responding to customer demand and have moved forward with a number of best-in-class service partners to aid in the delivery of one-stop solution capabilities to enhance our end-user experience.”

To learn more about these new DataBank services, compliance solutions, and facility locations, please visit the corporate website athttp://www.databank.com.

About DataBank

DataBank is a leading provider of enterprise-class data center services which are aimed at providing customers with a 100% uptime availability of their data, applications, and infrastructure. DataBank’s managed data center services are anchored in our world-class facilities, with highly available and robust internet access. Our customized technology solutions are designed to help customers effectively manage risk, improve their technology performance, and allow them to focus on their core business objectives. For additional information on DataBank, please visit http://www.databank.com or call 1(800) 840-7533.

Source: DataBank Unveils New Managed Services


(The Hosting News) – Sustainable IT solutions provider TurnKey Internet, Inc. announced today the expansion of their Latham, New York data center. Just 15 months after opening their flagship data center, TurnKey Internet will be installing their next phase of additional equipment, floor space and staffing to further develop their high-tech, cloud-based infrastructure. This comes in part from their funding received from New York’s energy development fund – NYSERDA.

“Because of the distinctive design within our green and sustainable data center- located in the heart of New York’s Tech Valley- we have seen exponential growth and non-stop demand for the expansion within our facility and with our cloud-based services,” said CEO, Adam Wills. “We’re excited to announce that we are ahead of schedule with our expansion and that this will allow us to increase our facility’s total capacity by 50 percent.”

Using equipment like their cold-containment pods, which uses the highly energy-efficient SmartAisle™ technology, TurnKey Internet has proved to be a leader in green-IT. In the past year, they teamed up with Energy Star and became one of two Energy Star certified data centers in the state of New York. TurnKey Internet was also approved to be a part of the ReCharge New York program in March 2013. The program, created by New York’s Governor Cuomo, was set in place to help companies receive clean, hydroelectric energy. With the use of their green-technology, their solar-panel roof system, and the hydroelectric power, TurnKey Internet’s data center uses 100% renewable energy.

About Turnkey Internet

Founded in 1999, TurnKey Internet, Inc. is a full-service green data center and leading provider of sustainable web hosting and IT solutions. From its SSAE 16 Type 2 certified facility in Latham, NY—New York’s Tech Valley Region—TurnKey offers web hosting, communication services, web-based IT systems, software as a service (SaaS), enterprise colocation services, and computing as a service to clients in more than 150 countries. For more information, please call (518) 618-0999 or visit http://www.turnkeyinternet.net/media.

Source: TurnKey Internet Begins Data Center Expansion


(The Hosting News) – Few days since its latest hosting partnership has been announced, SpamExperts, the leading provider of professional email security services from Amsterdam, has already extra news to reveal. The sequence continues today, as Hosted.nl joins the Hosting Partner Program, announcing its latest outbound filtering offering to end clients to keep pace with market demand.

Until two months ago, Hosted.nl, a high quality hosting services provider from the Netherlands,  used 24-hour sending limits for outbound email control, resulting in a large number of complaints and abuse notifications from customers whose IPs were getting blacklisted for unintentionally sending out spam. Hosted.nl sought an email filtering tool that would allow to pro-actively track spamming accounts and be able to shut them down for blacklisting prevention and thus singled out and purchased SpamExperts Outgoing Filtering service.

Hosted.nl says it is excited to announce that SpamExperts deployed the Local Cloud outgoing spam filtering solution on Hosted.nl server. Its system administrators have been working closely with SpamExperts and are pleased to have now a software in place which provides ARF reports indicating which users/mailboxes require attention and automatically lock out abusing accounts.

For Hosted.nl end clients, this is one more reason to be happy with their hosting services. Nearing 10.000 protected domains, Hosted.nl says that the number of complaints and abuse notifications from customers dropped by 95% in less than two months since the introduction of SpamExperts outbound filtering system. The company has plans to roll out inbound filtering as well.

After trying several solutions, SpamExperts’ Local Cloud appeared to be the only product that could really satisfy our needs. Lots of competitors’ solutions were only limited to a few aspects, such as high availability, actual spam filtering and anti-virus. The chosen outbound filter product saves us time, money and gives our customers value added services.”, says Kevin Schouwenaar, System Administrator for Hosted.nl.

Commenting on the partnership, Sam Renkema, CEO of SpamExperts said: “We are extremely happy that our outgoing filtering service has made such a great difference within a very short time. Outbound filtering is not just a must have tool for hosting providers, but the SpamExperts team has built some great capabilities: easy 3-step approach to assure no more spam leaves your network, free pre-built integration & automation plug-ins for all major control panels, managed deployment and others. We strongly believe that webhosts can use these features to create some great end users experience.”

About Hosted.nl

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in The Netherlands, Hosted.nl is a high quality internet service provider in every aspect of hosting: webhosting, reseller hosting, VPS servers, dedicated servers, VoIP, domain registration. For more, please visit:http://www.hosted.nl/.

Source: Hosted.NL Reveals Spam Drop Since Using SpamExperts


If you stand among rows of server racks, with the noise of fans and the flashing lights all around you, then you know you’re standing in a data center. Identifying a data center from the outside, however, can be a challenge. You’ll almost never be able to see a server from the outside (windows looking into the computer room are a no-no for a variety of reasons), so how can you know whether that bland industrial building is a data center?

Who Wants to Know?

Any number of groups or individuals might find the ability to spot a data center useful. Certainly, government agencies are always interested in ways to pry into everyone’s business, as the U.S. federal government has proven abundantly in recent months. Companies might wish to discover the capabilities of competitors. News outlets in search of information about a mildly secretive corporation like Google, for instance, could gain a better picture of the corporation’s assets compared with the data it releases publicly. Or a citizen might simply be interested in discovering the purpose of the industrial structure being built on an erstwhile farm in some rural location.

Of course, spotting a data center from outside isn’t always possible—a small data center could be hidden in an otherwise normal office building without leaving many clues as to its presence. Large mission-critical data centers, however, are more difficult to hide from those who know what to look for. So, here are some signs that might tell you that you’re looking at a data center.

Existing Buildings: Is It a Data Center?

One thing you won’t see is a sign saying that a facility is a data center. Information is valuable, as are the operations that these facilities support, so companies generally avoid advertising the locations of their data centers. In some cases, of course, you know it’s a data center simply by the organization’s name: that Facebook building, for example, probably doesn’t house surplus T-shirt inventory or heavy manufacturing equipment.

So, what are the indicators that a bland-looking industrial building is a data center? The following are a few.

  • Large fuel tanks. Power outages can cost companies thousands or even millions of dollars per hour. Thus, mission-critical data centers employ backup power generation in case the utility-supplied power fails. But running a megawatt-scale data center on diesel fuel is no small matter—particularly for outages that last more than a few minutes or even a few hours. Large fuel tanks can indicate the presence of a data center, although they are certainly by no means diagnostic.
  • Backup generators. What good is fuel without machinery to convert it to electricity? The presence of a number of industrial-scale generators is another potential indicator. Because one minute is just too long not to be spying on innocent people, the NSA’s Utah data center employs a number of fuel tanks and backup generators, for instance. How do you know some greyish box is a generator? It will be particularly noisy when a power outage strikes!
  • Water cisterns. Although many companies use just air to cool their data centers, some use water—particularly those that house high-density deployments, where air cooling is insufficient. In particular, if the facility employs cooling towers, the evaporative losses can necessitate adding large amounts of water each day. (The NSA’s Utah data center supposedly uses some 1.7 million gallons per day—whether that’s the amount consumed or pumped is unclear, but either way, a standby supply is necessary in case the utility fails.) Unfortunately for viewers, cisterns and fuel tanks may be located below ground, making their identification difficult. Location near a water source, such as a river or lake (and, increasingly, the ocean), however, is a possible tell.
  • Power-generation infrastructure. In some cases—particularly data centers in less urban locations where space is plentiful—companies (like Apple) may deploy solar panels or other power-generation infrastructure to offset ongoing energy costs. A few solar panels is not uncommon for a typical business, but large deployments mean large power needs, which could indicate a data center.
  • Security. You certainly won’t be able to enter a data center proper, but security measures may also extend to the borders of the larger campus. A guard house and other precautions at or near the entrance to the property may even prevent you from seeing the building, particularly if it is placed or landscaped strategically. If you can see the building, you probably won’t see much in the way of windows, although if a fair amount of office space is included, portions of the building or buildings may have many.
  • Small staff. A data center—even a large one—doesn’t necessarily require many people to maintain day-to-day operations. The greater the automation, the fewer company employees need to be present at any particular time. So, a large, mysterious industrial building with a small contingent of supporting personnel could be a data center.

Other indicators of an operating data center include a significant heat signature, particularly if mechanical cooling is used. All the power consumed by the IT equipment becomes heat, and that heat must be moved out of the facility. An infrared image of a large data center would thus show vast amounts of heat leaving the roof, cooling towers and so on (depending on the architecture). For facilities that use water-based cooling, the discharge into a nearby lake or other water source would likely show evidence of being much warmer than the surrounding water—for instance, a stronger heat signature or the presence of algae or other life forms that may be absent elsewhere.

None of these indicators by itself means the building is a data center. Even a combination of them could mean some other kind of industrial facility. Worth noting, however, is that a data center doesn’t generally require a large intake of materials, and neither does it produce much in the way of physical goods or even waste products. So, if you see truckloads of raw materials (say, steel goods) going into and out of a facility, it’s probably not a dedicated data center.

Construction: Will It Be a Data Center?

If you can get a look at the facility while it’s under construction (or, better, a look at blueprints or other materials showing infrastructure), you may be able to gain better insight into its purpose. Some of the above indicators, like fuel tanks and water storage, may provide some clues. Other indicators, particularly for mission-critical data centers, include multiple power and network feeds to the site. For instance, if a data center relies on one utility substation for power, an extended outage at that substation (or somewhere downstream) could easily outlast the data center’s ability to run on backup fuel supplies. Adding a redundant feed from a different substation improves the chances that an extended outage at one won’t mean downtime. The same logic applies to network connectivity.


No one indicator mentioned above necessarily means a particular building is a data center, but by observing a number of these indicators over time, you may be able to reasonably conclude that a data center is present. Much of the process of identifying a data center revolves around energy: these facilities have a tremendous energy appetite, they often require backup supplies and they produce lots of waste heat—but nothing, really, in terms of any physical products.

Another aspect of these facilities is security: to be sure, any company campus contains valuable materials, but swiping a hard drive or inserting a USB stick into a physical network is much easier than hauling off heavy machinery—and the damage can even be far greater. These security measures, in addition to hiding the inside of the facility, may even make getting a glimpse of the outside difficult. (One wonders how close you could actually get by car to the NSA data center before being stopped by some gruff military types.)

If you’re lucky enough to actually walk around inside a data center, you’ll easily identify the purpose of the building. For the rest of us looking from the outside, the task is more difficult—but it’s possible if you recognize the purpose and basic operation of a data center.

Leading article image courtesy of Tom Raftery

The post How to Know You’re Looking at a Data Center appeared first on The Data Center Journal.


July 30, 2013 — Open-source DNS security provider OpenDNS announced on Tuesday it has launched the latest release of its Umbrella Web security platform, which has been enhanced with predictive detection capabilities provided by the Umbrella Security Graph.

Keep on reading: OpenDNS Releases Umbrella Web Security Platform with Predictive Detection


July 30, 2013 — Randy Bias of Cloudscaling wrote an open letter to OpenStack management last week, urging OpenStack to adopt AWS APIs. On Tuesday, Robert Scoble of Rackspace wrote a public response, and that is where things start to get interesting.

Keep on reading: OpenStack and the AWS API Debate


July 30, 2013 — Cloud hosting provider FireHost announced on Tuesday it has published its Q2 2013 Web application attack statistics as part of FireHost’s quarterly Superfecta report, which shows that cyber criminals are increasingly using the cloud to deploy malicious attacks.

Keep on reading: FireHost Report Shows Cybercriminals Are Using the Cloud to Deploy Attacks


July 30, 2013 — Despite spending about $10 million of its $1.5 billion annual IT budget on cloud computing, NASA has overlooked critical security measures and procedures in its implementation of public cloud, according to a report released on Monday.

Keep on reading: NASA Cloud Implementation Sloppy, Leaves Security Gaps: Report

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