This category contains information about events that may affect your service such as maintenance or outages. It also contains announcements on new products releases and enhancements.

Backscatter Email Attack

January 20, 2011 10:05am – Our mail servers have been blacklisted by some domains because of an ongoing backscatter attack.  We are working to isolate the issue.

Backscatter is a type of spam attack where spam mail is sent to email servers with forged header information for the Envelope Sender address. If the email server bounces this email back to the sender, a bounced message usually has the Envelope Recipient set to the Envelope Sender of the original message, and the undeliverable message notification will be sent to the email address of the innocent user. There can also be other unsuspecting email servers in the message path and in a large spam campaign the target systems can be flooded with these backscatter spam messages.

January 20 10:30am  – It looks like the mail issue is not actually a backscatter attack, but instead is the result of a misconfigured email list.  The list has thousands of members and was set up in such a way that the members could all post.  Each post resulted in thousands of sent emails.  We are working with the customer who configured the list to resolve the issue.  We are also cleaning up emails coming from the list and are working to get our servers delisted from blacklists now that the source of the issue has been isolated.

January 20 10:45am – Most email is flowing normally now, although there are a few domains still delaying delivery of email from our server.  Notably aol.com and yahoo.com are still deferring our email.  These emails are NOT being rejected and WILL go through, but delivery may take longer than usual for those domains (and possibly some others).

January 20, 11:15am –  Yahoo.com is passing our email now.  AOL is the last holdout that we have found.  We have submitted a request to them for a change in our status, so all we can do now is wait for AOL to get it together.

2011-10-25T19:51:08-05:00January 20, 2011|News and Updates|Comments Off on Backscatter Email Attack

Inclement Weather

January 10, 2011 – Due to the winter storm, our store front will be closed today (Monday).  However, our staff will still be available via phone.  Our office number is 256-547-6817 or 877-886-6868 and option 8 will connect you with a technician.  Billing, scheduling and other issues can be addressed by dialing extension 126 at the voice prompt.  As always, we can also be reached by email at support@internetpro.net.

January 10, 2011 – Due to a lack of support calls, we are going to let our staff enjoy a snow day.  We will still be offering technical support via the phone, but it will be on a call back basis for the remainder of the day.

January 10, 2011 – 9:00pm – Looks like we are going to run the same routine on Tuesday.  Technical support will be available by hitting 8.  Billing, scheduling, etc. will be available by dialing extension 126.  We expect some additional calls on Tuesday as south Alabama warms up and drys out, however many of our staff would be put in danger if they were required to get to our office.

January 11, 2011 – 2:00pm – We have opened the office for normal business. The roads look like they will be bad tomorrow, so if you want to pick up your computer, pay a bill or whatever, you may want to come by this afternoon.  Just be careful!

January 12, 2011 – Our office is open for business as  usual today.  Normal office hours apply.

2011-10-25T19:51:15-05:00January 10, 2011|News and Updates|Comments Off on Inclement Weather

Shared Hosting Issue

December 30, 2010 9:15am – A bad security update on one of our shared web hosts has caused some MySQL enabled websites to be disabled.  We are working on the issue.   The fix may involve migration of affected sites to another server or restoration from backup.  We do not have an ETR (estimated time to repair) as yet.

10:30 am –  We have initiated repairs using both options — restore AND migration.  Some affected sites are beginning to come online as they are being moved to other servers.  The restoration is still in progress.

11:25 am – Our restoration of backups has completed and all sites seem to be back online.  We also managed to migrate many sites to a new server (this was planned for the future, but got done now) and those sites are also online.  We believe that all sites are now operating normally. If you have a site that is still having trouble, please contact support by emailing us at support@internetpro.net or calling 877-886-6868.

2011-10-25T19:51:22-05:00December 30, 2010|News and Updates|Comments Off on Shared Hosting Issue

Emergency Maintenance

December 6, 2010 –  We will be performing some emergency maintenance on our primary network attached storage (NAS) system tonight starting at approximately 2:00am.  The maintenance will impact some virtual servers.  At the same time, we will be applying OS updates to all virtual servers that need them. We expect the maintenance to take less than one hour.  The NAS maintenance will resolve an issue caused by two failed drives.  Normally, because of the redundant nature of the NAS, this type of work would not impact any virtual servers, but the failures that have occurred are going to force the NAS offline for a brief period.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

December 7, 2010 – 3:00am – The emergency maintenance has been performed successfully, and all services have been returned to normal.

2011-10-25T19:51:30-05:00December 6, 2010|News and Updates|Comments Off on Emergency Maintenance

Comcast Blacklist

December 2, 2001 – 9:09am  – Several of our email servers were blacklisted by Comcast for spam.  We believe this was due to the earlier attacks on weak passwords by spammers.  We have implemented a work around and have requested to be delisted by Comcast.  Our customers may have seen issues over the last day or so with delivering email to comcast.net email addresses and possibly some other domains hosted by Comcast.   No email was lost – it was just delayed.   Our workaround has already taken effect and all email destined for Comcast has now been delivered.   We apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused.

Update 9:45am – We have been removed from Comcast’s blacklist.  All operations have returned to noramal.

2011-10-25T19:51:53-05:00December 2, 2010|News and Updates|Comments Off on Comcast Blacklist

Email Issue

November 24, 2010 8:30 am – We implemented an upgrade on our email system which increases the security of email transmission.  The upgrade was supposed to be seamless, so it was not announced.  However, this morning we have received sporadic reports of email not going through.  We are investigating the issue to see if the two are related.   We will be posting updates here.

November 24 8:50 am – It looks like some spammers have compromised one or more email accounts and are sending out mass volumes of spam through our servers.  We are actually delivering email, but it is being delayed because of the volume of email.  We are working on removing the malicious spam from our system and identifying the compromised email account(s).

Note:  No email has been lost (except the spammer’s email).  It has just been delayed a little.  As of 9:00, it looks like almost 100% of delayed email has been delivered.   There are a few ISPs who have temporarily delayed email coming from our mail server due to the spam originating from it, but those blocks should be cleared shortly.

November 24 9:08am – We have identified the email account which was being used by the spammers to relay messages.  We have changed the password on the account and blocked the spammer’s IP address.   This user made the common mistake of having the username and password be the same thing.   For example, if the email address was user@internetpro.net, the password was user.   This is something the spammers regularly try to find, so if you have an easy password on your account such as this we STRONGLY suggest you change it.  You can change it by going to our home page at https://www.netsolinc.com and clicking on “Modify Email Account Settings” or by clicking this link.

November 24 2:40pm – The spammers have apparently gathered several accounts with usernames and passwords which are the same.  We are watching the system, and as we find the spammers exploiting an account, we are changing the password for the account.  We are attempting to call the affected users, but we have not been able to reach everyone.  If you are having email trouble all of the sudden, and your password is the same as your username, then please call us at 256-547-6817 or 877-886-6868 so that we can help you reset your password.

November 25, 2010 – 9:35am – The spammers are still finding accounts with weak passwords.  We are eliminating them as we see them being exploited. We put a system in place yesterday which alerts us of unusual email volume and allows us to detect the attack more quickly.  Most users should not see any issues, however it is possible that you may see your email client get disconnected from the email server if we happen to be stopping an attack at the moment you are sending or receiving an email.   We did not mention it yesterday, but the security enhancement we put in place a couple of days ago (mentioned at the  first of this post) did NOT have anything to do with these attacks.  The security we put in place did not work with bad passwords, but it actually encrypts the email as it is sent to to other servers (if they support encryption).

2011-10-25T19:48:54-05:00November 24, 2010|Internet, News and Updates|Comments Off on Email Issue

Web Server Problem

At 4:07 pm on Nov. 14, 2010, one of our web servers started presenting an FTP error.  At that time, users were not able to connect via FTP to update websites.  Or technicians responded to the problem within 5 minutes, but have not yet been able to isolate the issue.   At 4:45, the server was rebooted in an attempt to bring the FTP service back online.   At that time, all services were unavailable on that server.   The server came back online at 4:49 pm, however the FTP issue remains.   We are currently investigating the cause of the FTP problem, and hope to restore full service shortly.

Nov. 14  2010 5:18pm  – At 5:02, the outage escalated due to a misconfiguration of our main firewall.  Technicians were attempting to block the FTP DOS attack, and inadvertently blocked all traffic.   We are continuing to work on the problem.

Nov 14, 2010  5:30pm – Redundant firewalls have all been restored.  Looks like everything is up and running.  Our technicians are continuing to check.

Nove 14, 2010 5:38pm – The original FTP denial of service attack has now been resolved.  We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by this issue.  If you see any problems that you believe may be related to this issue, please give us a call at 256-547-6817 or 877-886-6868 to let our technicians know about it.

2011-10-25T19:52:03-05:00November 14, 2010|News and Updates|Comments Off on Web Server Problem

Spam System Upgrades

Nov. 3 2010 – Over the past few weeks we have noticed a huge increase in the volume of spam.  Although our system does a great job of recognizing spam messages, we found that it was being overloaded by the sheer volume of messages coming in.  We have seen many instances where our spam scanning had timed out causing spam email to come through untagged.  We have just brought an additional spam scanning server online to address this issue.   We are also making changes to the configurations of our spam servers in the hope that we will get more consistent and accurate spam tagging.

Nov. 4  2010  – The new server is now fully online and operational, sharing the learned spam database with all of the other servers.  In the past, each of our servers had maintained their own independent database, but those are now consolidated.  This consolidation will allow the database to grow faster (taking advantage of all servers at once) and to be the same across all the servers, resulting in more consistent tagging.  We hope everyone enjoys the improvements!

2011-10-25T19:48:46-05:00November 3, 2010|Internet, News and Updates|Comments Off on Spam System Upgrades

Planned Maintenance

AT&T Network Engineers will be performing a planned maintenance on Birmingham-Alabama
Access Router 1. The work will be performed on 11/18/2010, during the maintenance
window of 12:00AM-6:00AM, local time. AT&T's goal is to successfully complete the
task and restore service within the stated time frame.

We apologize for any inconvenience that you may experience.
We expect service to be impacted somewhat during the maintenance window.

AT&T Engineers will be performing an IOS upgrade.
2011-10-25T19:52:11-05:00November 3, 2010|News and Updates|Comments Off on Planned Maintenance

Planned Maintenance

AT&T Network Engineers will be performing a planned maintenance on
Birmingham-Alabama Access Router 1. The work will be performed on 10/5/2010,
during the maintenance window of 12:00AM-6:00AM, local time. AT&T's goal is
to successfully complete the task and restore service within the stated time frame. 

We apologize for any inconvenience that you may experience.
We expect service to be impacted somewhat during the maintenance window.

AT&T Network Engineers will be performing a router reload.
2011-10-25T19:52:26-05:00September 21, 2010|News and Updates|Comments Off on Planned Maintenance
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