Web hosting giant GoDaddy recently revealed that it had suffered a major security breach that lasted for several years. The company said the attack allowed unknown hackers to access its systems and install malware, exposing sensitive customer data and potentially giving the attackers access to millions of websites.

The hack is believed to have started as far back as 2019 and lasted until December 2022, when GoDaddy finally discovered the breach. During this time, the attackers were able to steal data from at least 1.2 million customers, putting their personal information and websites at risk.

The scale and scope of the GoDaddy hack is still being investigated, but it is clear that the impact could be significant. Here’s what we know so far:

What Happened in the GoDaddy Hack?

GoDaddy is a popular web hosting provider that offers a range of services, including domain registration, website hosting, and online marketing tools. According to the company, the hack began when an attacker gained access to a GoDaddy employee’s account, likely through a compromised password. From there, the attacker was able to infiltrate GoDaddy’s systems and install malware, which allowed them to siphon off data over a period of several years.

The hack was finally discovered in December 2022, after GoDaddy’s security team noticed some unusual activity on the company’s servers. Further investigation revealed that the attackers had been stealing customer data and installing malware on GoDaddy’s systems for a multi-year period.

What Data Was Stolen in the GoDaddy Hack?

GoDaddy has not released detailed information about the data that was stolen in the hack, but the company has confirmed that at least 1.2 million customer accounts were affected. This includes data such as customer names, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses. It is also possible that more sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and passwords, was also stolen.

In addition to stealing customer data, the attackers were also able to access and potentially modify websites hosted on GoDaddy’s servers. This means that millions of websites could be at risk, as the hackers could have installed malware or made unauthorized changes to the sites.

What Can Customers Do to Protect Themselves?

If you are a GoDaddy customer, it is important to take immediate action to protect your data and website. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Change your passwords: GoDaddy is advising all customers to change their passwords as a precaution. This includes passwords for your GoDaddy account, email, FTP, and any other services you use. Make sure you use a strong, unique password for each service.
  2. Monitor your accounts: Keep an eye on your bank accounts and credit card statements for any unusual activity. If you see anything suspicious, report it to your bank or credit card issuer immediately.
  3. Scan your website: Use a website scanner to check for any signs of malware or unauthorized changes on your site. If you find anything suspicious, contact GoDaddy’s support team for assistance.
  4. Consider using a security service: GoDaddy offers a range of security services that can help protect your website from future attacks. These include website scanning, malware removal, and firewall protection.

What Is GoDaddy Doing to Address the Hack?

GoDaddy has taken a number of steps to address the hack and prevent future attacks. The company says it is working with law enforcement agencies to identify the attackers and bring them to justice. It has also added new security measures to its systems, including stronger password requirements and more frequent security audits.

In addition, GoDaddy is offering free security services to affected customers, including website scanning and malware removal. The company has also provided detailed instructions on its website for customers who may have been affected by the hack. These instructions include steps to change passwords, scan websites for malware, and secure compromised accounts.

GoDaddy has also emphasized the importance of strong passwords and regular security checks for all its customers. The company says it will continue to invest in security measures and work to protect its customers from future attacks.

Is GoDaddy the Only Web Hosting Provider That Has Been Hacked?

No, GoDaddy is not the only web hosting provider to suffer a major security breach. In fact, the web hosting industry has been a frequent target for hackers in recent years. Some of the other major web hosting providers that have been hacked in the past include:

  • Bluehost: In 2018, Bluehost suffered a data breach that exposed sensitive customer information, including names, addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Hostinger: In 2019, Hostinger suffered a breach that exposed the data of over 14 million customers, including passwords and payment information.
  • DreamHost: In 2017, DreamHost suffered a major breach that exposed the data of over 30,000 customers, including names, addresses, and credit card numbers.
  • HostGator: In 2012, HostGator suffered a breach that exposed the data of over 200,000 customers, including names, email addresses, and passwords.

These are just a few examples of the many web hosting providers that have been targeted by hackers in recent years. It is clear that the web hosting industry is a prime target for cybercriminals, and companies must take proactive steps to protect their customers and prevent future attacks.

The Takeaway

The GoDaddy hack is a stark reminder of the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital age. With millions of people relying on web hosting providers to host their websites and store their sensitive data, it is essential that companies take every possible step to protect their systems and prevent breaches.

If you are a GoDaddy customer, it is important to take immediate action to protect your data and website. Follow the company’s instructions for changing passwords, scanning websites, and securing compromised accounts. Consider using a security service to help protect your site from future attacks.

And if you are considering using a web hosting provider, be sure to choose a company that takes cybersecurity seriously and has a proven track record of protecting its customers. With the right precautions and a proactive approach to security, you can help keep your data and website safe from hackers and cybercriminals.