How We Kept You Safe During Yesterday’s Zero-Day Security Emergency

How We Kept You Safe During Yesterday’s Zero-Day Security Emergency


You pay more to host your site with Synthesis.

Days like yesterday are why.

Zero-Day Emergency

One of the benefits of hosting your site with a managed provider like Synthesis is that you have the peace of mind of knowing your site is on a healthy and secure web server. In most cases, we are able to provide such an environment with proactive software features like our brute-force attack blocker or our constant malware scanning.

However, sometimes the exercise of security turns into emergency patching that simply can’t wait. Yesterday was one of those days.

Zero-Day exploit of the Linux kernel was made available that had potentially disastrous consequences for web hosts. This forced us to take immediate action in the form of an immediate patch and hard reboot.

We do not make a decision like a system-wide hard reboot lightly. It’s literally choosing immediate downtime for the sites we host. In this case, though, it was a no-brainer.

We will normally perform seamless upgrades, but the potential for a Zero-Day security disaster forced us to do the hard reboot without warning last night. Waiting 5-7 days — heck, even 5-7 hours — was unacceptable.

So … this is why your site came down yesterday. It allowed us to apply a necessary patch. And now your site is safe.

As you know, we are content publishers ourselves. Our sites were impacted right along with yours. We hate downtime just as much as you do, but the reality of the moment was that we had no other choice but to react quickly.

So … thank you

I ended up personally fielding a number of the Site Down tickets that were submitted last night during the reboot, and I want to extend a quick note of thanks to all of you who wrote in. Your patience, understanding, and just generally great attitudes about the entire situation were much appreciated.

We know that you have many options when it comes to managed WordPress hosting, and we’re glad you choose us. I can’t imagine a more astute, enjoyable group of customers to work with than what we have at Synthesis.

Now back to your regularly scheduled peace of mind. We know it’s what you pay for, and it’s a responsibility we never cease working to fulfill.


Note: this post was published on May 15th, 2013.