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Cloud Hosting Provider Finds Network Compromised; Customers Inundated with Spam

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

If a company’s network has been violated by hackers or phishing programs, they run the risk of compromising customer accounts, losing valuable customers and having their IP address blacklisted for sending spam out through the network. All of these threats were very real for Hostway as the company had been victim to phishing and spam. As a result of these activities, the company’s users’ accounts had been compromised.

Phishing, spam and cloud hosting are a common, albeit dangerous, combination. Companies offering hosting solutions must be able to protect customer information and accounts. When a breach happens – like that suffered by Hostway – a new and more secure solution is necessary to protect information and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Hostway relied on a combination of custom rate-limiting scripts, regex filters, log monitoring scripts and alerting systems based on message queue sizes to combat outbound spam and detect compromised accounts. Using these methods, the company was able to detect spammers exceeding the rate limits and the compromised accounts were then disabled by system staff.

While this seemed like a viable solution, spammers were still managing to work around the rate limits by automating the creation of new accounts with the compromised credentials. When Hostway realized their cloud hosting solutions were still compromising customers and putting them at risk of receiving more spam, they turned to Commtouch and its Outbound Protection.

By adding the Commtouch solution to their outgoing mail path, Hostway was able to rely on Outbound Protection to quickly identify spam messages and then notify Hostway about the compromised accounts, regardless of the rate at which the spam was sent.

This solution delivered a number of benefits for Hostway, including securing the company’s IP reputation by blocking outbound spam; saving money as Commtouch was able to minimize operational costs associated with resolving blocked IPs, handling unhappy customers and increasing existing hardware and support staff; improve customer satisfaction; and increase efficiency as the solution is now part of Hostway’s abuse report analysis process.

“Commtouch’s Outbound Spam Protection helped Hostway identify many compromised/ phished accounts as well as “trickle spam” that we otherwise couldn’t detect because it was below our rate limits. Blocking outbound spam in real-time has prevented us from being blacklisted by any major ISPs,” said John Martis, Executive Vice President, Hostway.

No company – whether operating in the cloud hosting space or not – can afford to have their network compromised and customers and prospects spammed through their outgoing mail. The results can be disastrous and an integrated solution like that offered by Commtouch can help to fix any breaches and prevent compromises in the future. 

Originally posted at: http://www.tmcnet.com/enews/e-newsletters/Next-Gen-Service-Provider/20101123/117941-cloud-hosting-provider-finds-network-compromised-customers-inundated.htm

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