The biggest free web hosting service, 000webhosting.com was hacked in March 2015 and more than 13 million accounts were affected. The data breach includes usernames, passwords in plain text, email addresses, IP addresses and the last names of 000Webhost‘s customers.
Troy Hunt, a security researcher revealed the data breach in a personal blog post. He said that the members login page of the website 000webhost.com is not protected by an SSL certificate and this is a first clue, that the website is vulnerable to Man in the middle attacks (MITM).
Moreover, someone found an XSS vulnerability, which was patched only after three days. The cross site scripting vulnerability is:
After this attack was in the press for a week, the 000webhost team fixed all the vulnerabilities and the CEO, Arnas Stuopelis, sent the following email to all 000webhost’s customers:
A hacker used an exploit in an old PHP version, that we were using on our website, in order to gain access to our systems. Data that has been stolen includes usernames, passwords, email addresses, IP addresses and names.
Although the whole database has been compromised, we are mostly concerned about the leaked client information.
What did we do about it?
We have been aware of this issue since 27th of October and our team started to troubleshoot and resolve this issue the same day, immediately after becoming aware of this issue.
In an effort to protect our users we have temporarily blocked access to systems affected by this security flaw. We will re-enable access to the affected systems after an investigation and once all security issues have been resolved. Affected systems include our website and our members area. Additionally we have temporarily blocked FTP access, as FTP passwords have been stolen as well.
We reseted all users passwords in our systems and increased the level of encryption to prevent such issues in the future.
We are still working around the clock to identify and eliminate all security flaws. We will get back to providing the free service soon. We are also updating and patching our systems.
What do you need to do?
As all the passwords have been changed to random values, you now need to reset them when the service goes live again.
DO NOT USE YOUR PREVIOUS PASSWORD.
PLEASE ALSO CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS IF YOU USED THE SAME PASSWORD FOR OTHER SERVICES.
We also recommend that you use Two Factor Authentication (TFA) and a different password for every service whenever possible. We can recommend the Authy authenticator app and the LastPass password manager.
We are sorry
At 000webhost we are committed to protect user information and our systems. We are sorry and sincerely apologize we didn’t manage to live up to that.
At 000webhost our top priority remains the same – to provide free quality web hosting for everyone. The 000webhost community is a big family, exploring and using the possibilities of the internet together.
Our leadership team will closely monitor this issue and will do everything possible to earn your trust every day.
If you enter on the web hosting website 000webhost.com, you will see in ther header this message: