DreamHost warns customers of possible password breach

Filed Under: Data loss, Featured, Vulnerability

DreamHhostDreamHost, the popular web hosting provider, has warned customers that one of its database servers has been illegally accessed by a hacker, and that the FTP and shell access passwords of some customers may have been compromised.

If it was the case that passwords were taken, that information would certainly be useful to cybercriminals, as they could use it to access innocent users' websites and change their contents - perhaps to embed malicious code onto webpages.

As a precautionary message, DreamHost has reset their customers' passwords.

Dreamhost warning

Sadly, no information has been forthcoming as to how a hacker might have been able to gain access to one of DreamHost's internal servers. Hopefully the firm is investigating and fixing any potential security vulnerabilities which might expose customer information in future.

Of course, if you use the same password elsewhere on the net (a very bad habit from the security point of view) you should make sure that you change it now. After all, if hackers do have your DreamHost FTP password you don't want them to be able to log into your email, eBay, Amazon, etc accounts too.

Remember, your passwords should not just be hard for people to guess and difficult to crack, they should also be unique. That way, if a password is lost by one company (as it may have done in the DreamHost case) at least there's no knock-on effect to your other online accounts.

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7 Responses to DreamHost warns customers of possible password breach

  1. schmunzelmonster · 821 days ago

    The advice on using a different password for every account makes sense in the context but then you end up having to write them down, thereby creating a new security risk. What is your advice for password management?

    • Good suggestions for password management? KeePass, 1Password, etc..

      • GrantFranks · 821 days ago

        LastPass

      • What makes them any safer?

        • chris · 821 days ago

          safer than what? good password management utilities include random password generators and use crypto to secure your local/remote(lastpass) db. assuming you actually use a strong pw to protect the db, you're in good shape.

      • spidersilk · 821 days ago

        I've never been entirely clear on why password managers like that are supposed to be a good thing. You put all your passwords in one place, and have one password that controls them all - so how is that different than using the same password everywhere? It still means there's only one password someone would have to crack in order to access everything you do, doesn't it?

  2. isaac · 772 days ago

    My website is hosted by Dreamhost and since Feb 29th,it broke and the company has not been able to restore it from earlier back up.My web developers have tried to bring it back but they get error messages that the files are corrupted.DreamHost has not confirmed wheather this is a result of the security breach and they have not been of any help.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.