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Juniiii

VFEmail hacked and 2 decades worth of data is gone

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Posted · Original PosterOP
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Email provider VFEmail said it has suffered a catastrophic destruction of all of its servers by an unknown assailant who wiped out almost two decades' worth of data and backups in a matter of hours.

“Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone,” VFEmail founder Rick Romero wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning after watching someone methodically reformat hard drives of the service he started in 2001. “It will likely not return. I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they'd want to completely and thoroughly destroy it.”

It seems like someone reformatted all their drives from within, not only did they reformat the main drives but also the backups.

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The ordeal started on Monday when he noticed all the servers for his service were down. A few hours later, VFEmail’s Twitter account reported the attacker “just formatted everything.” The account went on to report that VFEmail “caught the perp in the middle of formatting the backup server.”

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The damage, Romero reported, extended to VFEmail’s “entire infrastructure,” including mail hosts, virtual machine hosts, and a SQL server cluster. The extent of the damage, he suggested, required the hacker to have multiple passwords. “That’s the scary part.”

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“2FA only works if the access method was via authentication, as opposed to exploit,” he explained. “At least 3 different methods had to be used to get into everything.”

I’ve never used VFEmail but now I can definitely never use it. Hopefully for some people who did use it for a long time can go without all their old emails and this service, they should probably now consider something a lot more modern like gmail or outlook. Why would someone do this to a service like this? 

 

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now it's a matter of waiting till they say "The chinese/russians/iranis did this" 

I give them... 2 days, take it or leave it.

 

now seriously. shouldn't a service like this have cold offline backups? I mean online backups for an email provider? come on, any serious IT guy knows having a backup connected to the same local network that's accessible from the internet is a huge risk, even I know it and I'm no IT guy... just... seems really odd.


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So, never thought of an off-site backup only the boss has access to?


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6 minutes ago, Jurrunio said:

So, never thought of an off-site backup only the boss has access to?

Shouldn't just be off-site, but offline backups. Can't wipe what isn't accessible even with stolen credentials.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Shouldn't just be off-site, but offline backups. Can't wipe what isn't accessible even with stolen credentials.

Agreed, it is their fault for this whole thing, I’m pretty sure everyone has a offline backup 

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20 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Shouldn't just be off-site, but offline backups. Can't wipe what isn't accessible even with stolen credentials.

Never heard of this company, so not sure how big they are, but I'm surprised they wouldnt have tape backups.

Edit: actually, maybe not. I guess it depends on the type and size of data they're storing

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3-2-1 rule

Have at least three copies of your data.

Store the copies on two different media.

Keep one backup copy offsite.


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22 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Shouldn't just be off-site, but offline backups. Can't wipe what isn't accessible even with stolen credentials.

what's the strategy like for making offline backups for a 24/7 server? o_o kinda curious

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1 hour ago, VegetableStu said:

what's the strategy like for making offline backups for a 24/7 server? o_o kinda curious

Have a constant rotation of Tapes or Drives that get removed and sent offsite at regularly scheduled intervals, most backup servers are a completely separate device that copies data from live servers so the live 24/7 servers are never interrupted or taken down and those backup servers can usually be set up with hot swapable drives/tapes. A previous job I worked at had me removing 3 backup tapes every Friday, shipping them to an offsite and offline location, then picking up the old ones that return and taking them to a locked cabinet where we held 6 months of tapes, and then grab the oldest ones from there and insert them into the server where you removed the latest tapes/drives to ship offsite.

 

You do that in parity with a live connected offsite backup as well so you can quickly restore if needed. Kinda hard to lose all your data if you employ these or similar practices.


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3 hours ago, WereCatf said:

Shouldn't just be off-site, but offline backups. Can't wipe what isn't accessible even with stolen credentials.

No it should be off-site as a fire or exsplosion would destroy everything. 


ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D🅾🅼🅸🅽🅰🆃🅾r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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2 minutes ago, BuckGup said:

No it should be off-site as a fire or exsplosion would destroy everything. 

offsite and offline

 

the copy of a copy so to speak, make the first copy where the servers are located and then send it somewhere else to make a copy of that and store it in a safe place


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The website seems to be still stuck in 2001 😬 So does the pricing...


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3 hours ago, EarthWormJM2 said:

You do that in parity with a live connected offsite backup as well so you can quickly restore if needed. Kinda hard to lose all your data if you employ these or similar practices.

You also need to add verification of your tape backups into the rotation.  "let's get the tape backup....oh FUUUUUCK it turns out it's been broken for the last 9 months".

 

I thought Google drive would be a great offsite backup.  Until I tried to simulate needing to access the data and their site chokes on 300+GB file downloads.


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I predict it was someone who was using the email service to organise some sort of major crime and they are just getting rid of the evidence without it looking suspicious. 


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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11 hours ago, WereCatf said:

Shouldn't just be off-site, but offline backups. Can't wipe what isn't accessible even with stolen credentials.

How do you maintain offline backups of service that's not static, but dynamic 99,9% of the time? Do you do them daily, weekly, monthly, yearly?

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4 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

How do you maintain offline backups of service that's not static, but dynamic 99,9% of the time? Do you do them daily, weekly, monthly, yearly?

Depends on the company, obviously. Some do it daily, some weekly, some monthly. Yearly is too much, though.


Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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Just now, WereCatf said:

Depends on the company, obviously. Some do it daily, some weekly, some monthly. Yearly is too much, though.

Well, in this case, even yearly would be helpful if it's span of 20 years of service...

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3 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

Well, in this case, even yearly would be helpful if it's span of 20 years of service...

Well, obviously, anything is better than nothing 😜 It's one thing to play fast-and-loose with one's own stuff, but to do it with other people's stuff? It's just....eh, I don't really even know. I'm just facepalming over here.


Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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