4800 Australian websites lost after a hack attack: reports

4800 Australian websites lost after a hack attack: reports

The incident took place after a break-in at Australian domain registrar and web host Distribute.IT, the reports said.

The hack attack caused so much damage that four of the company's servers were "unrecoverable", the company said, leaving thousands of website owners in the lurch.
"The overall magnitude of the tragedy and the loss of our information and yours is simply incalculable; and we are distressed by the actions of the parties responsible for this reprehensible act," Distribute.IT said.

The reports said Distribute.IT was hit with a "deliberate, premeditated and targeted attack" on its servers last Saturday but it is still struggling to work out exactly what happened or how much data was stolen.

Security experts warned that thousands of websites were vulnerable to being hijacked and extensive private data were at risk of being stolen.

In a statement published today, Distribute.IT said it had been working around the clock in an attempt to recover data from its affected servers.

"At this time, We regret to inform that the data, sites and emails that were hosted on Drought, Hurricane, Blizzard and Cyclone can be considered by all the experts to be unrecoverable," it said.

"While every effort will be made to continue to gain access to the lost information from those hosting servers, it seems unlikely that any usable data will can be salvaged from these platforms.

"In assessing the situation, our greatest fears have been confirmed that not only was the production data erased during the attack, but also key backups, snapshots and other information that would allow us to reconstruct these servers from the remaining data.

"The company said 4800 websites were affected and since it did not have the capacity to transfer the domain names to other parts of its platform, Distribute.IT had no choice "but to assist you in any way possible to transfer your hosting and email needs to other hosting providers".

The significant data loss has raised questions from backup experts as to why Distribute. IT did not appear to have offsite backups of customer data.

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