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SSH access for all our customers

Today our Software Team added yet another section to the hosting Control Panel interface. It is for managing SSH access to the hosting account, and controlling the user access permissions to various server-side binaries and tools. Now all our customers, including users on shared-hosting servers, can allow SSH access to their hosting accounts.

This new interface increases the overall account and server security, as customers can allow access only to the features they need and plan to use, while leaving the rest disabled.


Disk space upgrade for First Class customers in Hong Kong

As of today, we are doubling the available disk space for First Class accounts in our Hong Kong datacenter. Instead of 100 GB space, customers on First Class servers now have 200 GB SSD space at their disposal, at no additional charge. All current accounts are already updated with the new disk space quota.

First Class managed-VPS plans are designed to support heavily-visited sites, online software with bigger hardware requirements, or organizations with larger operations that have outgrown the resources of shared service plans. Observing the disk usage patterns of customers on HK servers, we decided to take steps to upgrade disk arrays and backup servers there. Thus we are now able to allow larger disk space on each account, without degrading the service level - all servers use RAID6 arrays of SSD disks, and all customer data is backed up daily and kept for the last 15 days.

We hope that this disk space upgrade will give our customers more room and flexibility for their operations.


Let's Encrypt certificates

Today, our in-house developed hosting Control Panel got another feature - an installation utility for the SSL certificates of Let's Encrypt. Our customers can now install Let's Encrypt certificates for any of the domains they host with us.

Let's Encrypt is a certificate authority that provides free domain-validated SSL certificates. Its activity is aimed towards providing secure connection between users and servers, and making encrypted communication a standard on the Internet.

The new utility in the hosting Control Panel provides very easy installation and management of Let's Encrypt certificates - a certificate is requested with a single click, and the whole validation process and following renewals are done automatically on the server side.

The use of Let's Encrypt certificates on our servers is completely free for our customers.


First Class VPS plan updates

Our First Class plan has been introduced several years ago with the main purpose to meet the requirements of sites that have outgrown our shared hosting environment but their owners prefer not to switch hosting services.

We are constantly working on improving the specifications of the plan and the VPS servers. In this regard, as of today all new and existing First Class accounts have 6 GB of RAM available (4 GB until now). Respectively, double First Class plans now come with 12 GB of RAM. The prices of the plans remain unchanged.

Also, our team of system administrators recently introduced FastCGI and OPCache for First Class plans. FastCGI and OPCache significantly improve the performance of PHP scripts and are compatible with most popular software packages.

With these updates, we hope that our customers with heavily-visited and resource-demanding websites will have more room to develop their businesses further.


Critical vulnerability in ImageMagick discovered and immediately resolved on our servers

Recently, sources on the Internet reported a critical security vulnerability in the ImageMagick library. ImageMagick is a popular image processing utility for web sites, and it is utilized by many image processing plugins and tools. The vulnerability allows execution of remote code and file manipulation on the server.

Server security is a concern of an utmost importance, and our system administrators are constantly monitoring servers software and security lists, to make sure that our service is as safe as possible.

To mitigate the specific security problem, our system administrators immediately applied ImageMagick policy restrictions on all servers. The additional policy blocks certain ImageMagick features, such as the inclusion of remote data and operations with mvg files. The policy effectively resolves the problem with the specific vulnerability. Although unlikely, it is also possible that the policy would break some features of image processing tools and plugins. Nevertheless, we decided that the benefits of the additional restrictions outweigh the risks, as keeping our customers' data safe is of the highest priority for us.

A secure version of ImageMagick without additional restrictions will be mass-deployed on all servers as soon as it is released by its developers.