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UK Hosting Service Shuts Down Websites After Database Breach

One of the UK's largest hosting providers has pulled the plug on hundreds of Websites after attackers tried to use stolen data

The U.K. has suffered another major data breach: Hundreds of Websites have been shut down after hackers broke into a major Web hosting firm's database and stole bank data, addresses, passwords, and email messages.

Hosting provider Fasthosts Internet Ltd. said it had to temporarily shut down the sites because the attackers were trying to use the data they had stolen from the database, according to a published report. After the firm discovered the break-in in October, it alerted its customers to change their passwords. But last week Fasthosts pulled the plug on some sites, including those that had not changed their passwords, after detecting suspicious activity on them.

“Last month Fasthosts wrote to all its customers to advise them that the company had discovered a network intrusion involving a Fasthosts server and, as a precautionary measure, recommended that all customers update their passwords. Fasthosts was made aware that a very small number of customers, who did not change their passwords, had experienced a compromise. As a result, Fasthosts implemented automatic password changes," a Fasthosts spokesperson told The Times. "We apologize to those customers affected for any inconvenience.”

Meanwhile, some businesses whose sites are hosted by Fasthosts reportedly are suffering some major fallout from the shutdown. One firm said his customers assumed he had shuttered his business, and that he's worried his business may fail as a result of the incident.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

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