Recent Yola outage: Here’s what happened

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  • Updated 8 years ago
Yesterday was a very difficult day for Yola and our customers. Yola’s servers were attacked unexpectedly and maliciously by as yet unknown individuals and/or groups, bringing down all of our hosted websites as well as our service provider’s entire datacenter.

The thing Yola cares about most is providing a world class service to all our customers, and doing so consistently and reliably. When our servers are attacked, your website is attacked. We don’t take this lightly. We worked around the clock to bring the service back up, and talked to you in our customer community forum, Twitter, Facebook and email during the outage to answer your questions and keep you up-to-date.

We’re posting this information on our forum now to tell you what happened, what we’re going to do about it in the future, and, most importantly, to apologize. Regardless of the reasons, your website was down. Please know that however frustrated we were with the situation, we understand you were more so. We’re very sorry.

Here’s what happened and what we plan to do about it:

What was attacked?
The IP address of our hosting service came under a vicious Denial of Service (“DoS”) attack, affecting all of our hosted sites. The attack consisted of an enormous amount of nonsense data aimed at our servers. With all of this junk flowing through it, it was impossible for legitimate traffic to get to your sites.

What happened to my website? Is it secure now?
Your website is safe. It was secure during the attack, but impossible to get to (kind of like a roadblock). We’ve created another route to your site, and have been updating all the domains we control to use this route.

What do I need to do?
If you bought your domain from Yola or you use our yolasite.com subdomain, your site is already fully functional and you don’t need to do a thing. We’ve already done everything to move your site to the new address, and everything should be up and running normally.

If you bought your domain elsewhere (i.e. through a different domain registrar) and are pointing it to our service, please see these instructions for reconfiguring your DNS: Pointing your domain to Yola.

Why did this happen to Yola?
This unfortunately happens to many companies on the web. There are just people who like to do malicious things. We’re not the first site to experience this, and we won't be the last. We’ll continue to do everything possible to protect our service and our customers from these kinds of attacks in the future.

What did Yola have in place to protect its customers from this attack?
We’ve always had state-of-the art defenses in place; we split our networks up so that an attack on one part would not affect the other, and we bought special hardware to put in front of our sites. Normally these defenses were more than we needed. Not this time. We couldn’t have seen an attack like this coming, and what we had in place just wasn’t enough. We’re fixing this.

What will Yola do to prevent another attack of this nature in future?
We’ve brought in a global web security firm whose expertise is the prevention and mitigation of incidents like this. We’re now creating the kind of protection usually reserved only for banks and government institutions to ensure this does not happen again, and will surpass that of most website hosting services.

Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns?
You can email us at support@yola.com, or post to our forum. Our staff will get back to you as fast as they possibly can.

Thank you for your patience and support during this trying time. The questions and comments we received (even the critical ones!) confirmed what we already knew: Yola has the best customers around.

On behalf of the entire Yola team,

Vinny Lingham
CEO, Yola.com
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Vinny Lingham

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Posted 8 years ago

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KanThaiDecor

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Thank you very much to you and your staff for making a work around with a new IP so quickly......As I have stated before I have been through a severe DOS attack using a different company and there was never any work around offered.
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baz275

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Thanks for your (as usual) outstanding customer support and updates after the attack. Many companies i've had experience with hide away from their customers and just give an apology and say that they're dealing with the problem. What i like about YOLA staff is that they treat and respond to each customer as an individual rather than a herd. It is appreciated. Your customer service response is also the fastest i've experienced. Thankyou for your continued hard work!
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Boomer, Champion

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Thank you Vinny for the detailed explanation. Thanks to all the reps and the technical staff, who must have gone through hell the last few days. This temporary outage will only make Yola stronger.
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andrey.computer

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I agree
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Woolyback

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DOS attacks are everywhere at the moment. This month alone there have been attacks on Facebook and Twitter causing the same problems to their users that we have had with Yola. In May last year Google came under a massive attack.
Yola pointed out that the attack comes from computers that have been taken over by a hidden virus, which last year was first thought to be Conficker (Conficker is an alternate name for the Downadup worm).
It is up to us all to scan our computer regularly and make sure our anti-virus software is up to date, it's no use complaining to Yola if you have an infected PC. Only yesterday a friend rang me over a problem she was having with her new laptop, and I was amazed to hear she had not installed any anti-virus thinking it came with one on.
If Yola indeed bring in a global web security firm whose expertise is the prevention and mitigation of incidents like this, surely this will cost Yola, which in the end will need to be passed on to us. Perhaps the end of free hosting?
With an estimate of 1 in 16 computers being infected we need to keep ours clean, remember the saying 'prevention is better than cure'.
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Nathan, Champion

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No!! I don't want free hosting to go away!!! I don't think Yola would do that! You can watch a interview with an employee at Yola on ABC News here: (But this video is kind of old, Yola has a little more features now) Interview with VP of Marketing at Yola on ABC News
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andrey.computer

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I have every free antivirus, and your post persuaded me to buy some, too, espeially on my business PC
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Nathan, Champion

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Thanks Yola for being an awesome company! Yola is the best on the internet! My rating for Yola:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
↑←Bad  Awesome→↑

10
Rating


I mean, some companies just don't say anything and say there computers went down. They don't want their customers to know, but I can really trust Yola! Yola is so honest! Good job all Yola employees!!!
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yolafan

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THX VINNY YOLA=FUTURE
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Valika

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Thank you for informing us honestly! I'm grateful for all the great service and support of Yola.
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esteformbeauty

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cool but i use blog.com :)))
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Josh

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I just got back from vacation, so the problem didn't affect me while I was working. However, some of my video boxes are not working. Do I need to re-link everything?
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Josh

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Nevermind - apparently the problem is with motionbox, not yola. Should have researched more first, just was catching up post vacation and saw the outage notification first. It's not letting me delete/edit my original comment so I'll just include this comment.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Nevermind! I will leave this up in case someone else runs into the same issue. Thanks for taking the trouble to come back and let us know you found the problem.
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andrey.computer

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Thank you! I had seen this attack many times, back when I was the admin of our site that we hosted ourselves. This attack was stopped within a day, but our small business took about a week to fix it. This is the shortest downtime period we have seen from a DoS attack.
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Helen

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Hi Vinny, to the recent outage problem, i have re set all the pointing as suggested with my registrars as required.... however i still cant see my web and further more when i Click the green "Publish to the web" button in Yola.
I dont have the options below
Select "I already own my domain name" and then "Next step".
Enter your domain name and follow the prompts to publish your site.
.If your site is already published, click the drop down arrow next to the "Publish to the web" button, and then select "Publishing Settings" and you will see an option to add a domain you already own. If your domain now redirects to your subdomain ????? what the ??? Help
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Marije, Official Rep

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Hi Helen - could you post your site's URL so that we can take a look for you?
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Helen

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this is my web..... www.gekkoimports.com.au
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Marije, Official Rep

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Hi Helen - your domain is pointing to the wrong IP address. You will need to contact your domain registrar in order to change the A Records from 208.75.208.172 to 184.72.229.176. Once changed, your site will be accessible once again.