Don't Let This Happen To Your Company

Data BreachThe world's largest domain registrar, GoDaddy, with 19 million customers, has disclosed a data breach impacting web hosting account credentials.

With more than 19 million customers, 77 million domains managed, and millions of websites hosted, most everyone has heard of GoDaddy. According to Bleeping Computer, which broke the news yesterday evening, an as yet unknown number of customers have been informed that their web hosting account credentials had been compromised.

What is known so far about the GoDaddy data breach?

The confirmation of the data breach, in an email signed by GoDaddy CISO and vice-president of engineering, Demetrius Comes, revealed that the security incident in question came to light after suspicious activity was recently identified on some GoDaddy servers. The breach itself appears to have occurred on October 19, 2019, according to the State of California Department of Justice, with which the disclosure notification email sample was filed.

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The email notification stated that, upon an investigation of the incident, it was determined that an "unauthorized individual" had gained access to login credentials that meant they could "connect to SSH" on the affected hosting accounts. SSH is an acronym for secure shell, a network protocol used by system administrators to access remote computers. SSH is, as you might imagine then, quite a useful attack vector for hackers. If you want to dive into the technical detail, then Hackaday has an excellent article about the "terminal program that talks to a server using an encrypted connection."

"The GoDaddy breach underlines just how important SSH security is," Yana Blachman, a threat intelligence specialist at Venafi, said. "SSH is used to access an organisation’s most critical assets, so it’s vital that organisations stick to the highest security level of SSH access and disable basic credential authentication, and use machine identities instead," Blachman said, "this involves implementing strong private-public key cryptography to authenticate a user and a system."

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