Our shared server biz136 is currently experiencing the effects of a denial of service attack. You can view your account's info in AMP to see if you're on this server. Our senior systems administrators are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate your patience during this time of unxepected issues.

Our senior system administration team is diligently working to mitigate these issues as much as possible, and further updates will be displayed here as we have them.

Update 8/22/2013 5:25PM EST: While the DDoS attacks mentioned above have subsided at this time biz136 is still experiencing intermittent database connectivity errors at times. Some of which is coming from the recent increase in a WordPress brute force attack.

Update 8/27/2013 9:15PM EST: As per our systems team, the DDoS on biz136 has been mitigated and the server functions should now be normal. If you are still encountering issues with the server, please contact our live Technical Support staff for immediate assistance.

Update 8/29/2013 12:45PM EST: While the DDoS attack of biz136 has been mitigated, we are still seeing signs of intermittent connectivity on the server, especially related to MySQL database access. Customers are reporting sparodic database access errors while we continue to fully resolve this problem.

Update 8/30/2013 3:40PM EST: At this time all intermittent database connectivity issues appear to have been fully resolved. We have been seeing a steady decrease in the average load times for sites on the server, and also a reduction in the amount of contacts we're receiving reporting further problems.

If you are still expericing any problems at all, at this time it would be very helpful if you can please include the exact time when you were encountering issues, and for approximately how long. As issues might be just independantly happening for certain sites instead of the entire server at this point.

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2013-08-22 12:15 am
Thanks for keeping us posted, however what is the expected time frame a solution will be in place and we can expect to have our web sites back up and running prior to this attack??
113 Points
2013-08-22 5:54 am
How can it be that after 3 days of consistent issues, there is still no solution to that? This is ridiculous and totally unacceptable.
2013-08-22 10:48 am
My logs show email problems with biz136 began Friday night. 6 days of this, and access to my sites, particularly Wordpress sites, remain intermittent at best. My call was placed on hold yesterday for 60 minutes with no answer. My emails are ignored. Looking at the web site specs, I learned that InMotion Hosting no longer guarantees an uptime of 99.9%. I'm getting the hint - I should go elsewhere!
2013-08-22 11:16 am
I have been using and recommending InMotion for two years, but after this situation I am seriously reconsidering my loyalty to your company. The website that's being affected by this attack is for a festival that is happening THIS WEEKEND, and to have people unable to access the site AND send us email AND publicly commenting on it is a disaster for us. And as far as I know, a ddos that goes on for 2 days is a persistent attack, not a plain ddos. InMotion's inability to address the is ENTIRELY unacceptable.
113 Points
2013-08-22 11:31 am
I have contacted support 3 times this week. All week I've been told, "we're working on it, we're working on it" We are a school and all our forms are hosted online for students for back to school and today is registration day and it's been a nightmare because parents are all confused about were to get the paperwork. I've always been happy with inmotion hosting but not even notifications or emails as to why the site is down or an eta, especially for this long of a time is unacceptable.
Staff
9,521 Points
2013-08-22 6:30 pm
Hello FUMCG-Wiemers, username, not-happy, and BrasFestChi, sorry for our delayed response to your comments and these ongoing issues.

I'd like to stress that we are currently overhauling our procedures for notifying and keeping customers up to date with all ongoing server and network issues. Also while not an excuse, and not trying to scare you but just inform you, please bear in mind that the level of malicious activity across the board on the Internet is at historical all time highs which our own IT Director blogged about in his the new norm in cyber world post back in June.

I encourage you all to do some searching on your own on this as well, some good search terms I found were "DDoS attacks over years", or "DDoS attacks on the rise".

Back in March 2013 there was the biggest DDoS attack ever against Spamhaus which actually not only affected them but slowed down entire sections of the Internet. Also for the first half of 2013 there were multiple DDoS attacks over 2Gbps for the first time ever.

We've made huge strides at InMotion Hosting in the security and uptime of our servers and network over the last 2 years, but at times these exceptional problems still happen. We try to learn and grow from them as much as possible so that we're constantly helping our customers keep their websites and businesses available to all their visitors.

FUMCG-Wiemers As mentioned above the DDoS attack has subsided, but at times intermittent database connectivity on biz136 is still happening. Most website are back to normal at this time, but there could still be sporadic outages until this notice is archived and taken off our main support site, as we currently don't have an exact ETA when all problems will be resolved.

username I definitely apologize for the extended service interruptions. Unfortunately when a DDoS attack is happening there is typically a botnet of compromised machines continually sending requests at the server. The depth and uniqueness of the IP addresses used in the attack was very large, and as such difficult to mitigate without also blocking legitimate traffic to the server. Now that the DDoS is attack is mainly under control there are still some sporadic connectivity issues we are still working on, and unfortunately we can't guess at an exact ETA when things will be back to 100% normal again.

not-happy This is definitely an exception to our commonly good uptime, unfortunately with the way the Internet currently operates and the mass spread of virus and malware to compromised machines. When a very large DDoS attack is initiated to try to deny and disrupt services, it typically does, and we are not totally immune to these types of problems just like any other targets. It's also important to note that this DDoS attack was primarily aimed at one shared server from our entire fleet, so it's not like we are getting attacked left and right and all of our customer's websites are down. We have been able to mitigate much of the attack and for the most part websites on the affected biz136 should be accessible now.

BrasFestChi I'm sorry these issues coincided with a really inopportune time for your festival . You're right that persistent days of intermittent connectivity is not indicative of a plain DDoS attack. That's the majority of the problem at the moment, not just for us but the Internet in general. Personal computers have exponentially grown in power over recent years, and when they are compromised and then included as part of a botnet to attack a target it leads to record breaking levels of attacks.

I'd like to thank you all for commenting here, and again express my deepest apologies for any inconveniences any of you have suffered during this. Please feel free to continue to comment here if you had any further follow-up questions or complaints you'd like to express.

- Jacob
2013-08-23 9:23 am
[Post edited 8/23/2013 12:30PM EST - To take away personal information]

Hi Everyone,

Unfortunately I've had a similarly unacceptable & frustrating experience. I understand sometimes things are beyond your control, but Customer Support around this issue has been horrible. Everybody is nice, but nobody says anything except - "we are working on it." I tried to speak with a manager multiple times (I've spent over 4 hours on the phone with support the past 6 days), and I was told that isn't possible & that I had to write an email to contact management. I did exactly that on Monday AND Wednesday & still haven't received a meaningful response. Even if I had, I don't understand how email is an acceptable means of communication for such a serious problem. I'm still waiting for my phone call, and in the meantime, I will post my recent emails that detail the situation:

On Aug 19, 2013, at 3:47 PM, "Scott P" <scott.p> wrote:

Dear Manager,

I've had both positive & negative experiences since starting with InMotion this Spring, but what happened this weekend into today is completely unacceptable. We recently launched our brand new website, and it has been up & down (much more down than up) for over 48 hours.

Our website was down starting early Saturday morning, and when I called support, they told me it was a DNS server error that would soon be fixed. It appeared OK about a hour later, but then it went down again around 10am. When I called support, I was told it would be "spotty" because they were still working on the solution & to check back every 5 min. I explained that wasn't an option because I had a full day not in front of my computer, and after checking with management because it's not an ordinary procedure, I was promised an email (which I never received) when everything was fixed. I asked about being switched to a different server, but I was assured that would be much more time-consuming than you guys fixing our current server.

We continued to have problems Saturday night & Sunday, so after another call to confirm you were still working on it, I got really concerned Sunday evening. I had to re-explain the problem every time I called, and to make it worse, I was told once on Sunday around 5pm & again this morning around 9am that the probably was our website & not your servers. Our website was working perfect until this weekend, and we have been unable to do any work since. After checking notes & talking to supervisors, each support person eventually came to the conclusion that the problems was NOT with our website.

I don't understand how I get a different story from each support person, nobody knows the real problem or approx. timeframe for the fix, and I'm never allowed to talk to a Tier II or III to get a better answer. If you valued our business, shouldn't someone be assigned to the problem to keep us in the loop as to what's going on? Down time of 1 hour is a mistake, but down time of 48+ hours is a serious problem that deserves serious attention. To the credit of Jeff M. & Kyle D., they did send me email updates after I explained to them my frustrations the past 48 hours.

Our website finally appears to be back, but I'm still not confident because I have no point of contact to know what's going on. On Saturday it was a DNS problem & then on Sunday it was a MySQL database problem. I love the fact that you have 24 hour customer service, but if those support people can't give out meaningful info, it's more frustrating than helpful. I easily spent 3 hours on the phone this weekend with support, and other than me continually explaining the same problem, I got nothing in return other than "we are working on it & apologize for the inconvenience".

I am currently shopping for hosting alternatives. I understand things go wrong, but when they do (especially something that is this big of a deal), I need to have confidence that you will go above & beyond to fix it ASAP utilizing all your resources. I was actually told this morning that you had limited resources & were understaffed for the weekend, so I should expect a quicker/better fix to the problem today. I'm glad it is finally fixed, but how do you justify it being downplayed the past two days? And how can I be confident that we won't go down again for such an extended period of time without more helpful support so that I understand the situation?

I'm very disappointed & upset because I chose InMotion based on your stellar reputation for uptime & customer support. Hopefully you can make me a believer again.....

Scott

From: IMH Management Team <manager_feedback@inmotion.net>

Date: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM
Subject: Re: {100-1516387} Major Problems
To: "scott.p" <scott.p>

Hello Scott,

Thank you for contacting us.

I'm sorry to hear that you were affected by the recent MySQL Connect issues on one of our servers. I want to assure you that we did not intend for a resolution to take so long as we were actively monitoring the server and looking for the cause of the issues. It was found yesterday after a full server diagnostics was completed, the a piece of hardware was faulty and called for immediate replacement which unfortunately took the server down early during the day. Due to the prolonged issues, it was determined that we could not keep the server as it and had to act immediately.

We do not expect that same issue to occur at this time and are continuing to actively monitor the server while it returns back to a normal quality of service. I also apologize if it seemed like front-line support made it seem like the server issues were not a primary concern as we could not, at the time, gauge how long it would take to fully resolve the issue.

Due to the inconvenience this has caused, we have issued your account a months extension in hopes that we can prove that staying with InMotion Hosting is still the correct choice for your long term hosting needs and continue to be your hosting provider for many years to come.

Please let us know if you have any further questions; we are more than happy to help.
Best Regards,
Celena B
Customer Care Agent
888-321-HOST (4678) Available 24/7

On Aug 21, 2013, at 1:26 PM, "Scott P" <scott.p> wrote:

This problem continues to get worse. We are currently on the other line with your phone support because our website is down AGAIN. We are getting the exact same error message as Saturday morning which has now supposedly been fixed multiple times. After threatening to ask for our money back yesterday morning, I was promised a server move (which I had originally requested on Saturday when the problem started). Then later the same day I get an email saying the server move can't be done because of a broken RAID, but not to worry because it would fix the problem. Well it definitely did not because the error messages are back again.

I don't want a month's extension to prove why we should stay with InMotion - I want an extension on our 90 Day Money Back that expired on Aug 1 because your service and support has been completely unacceptable the past five days. Can you imagine if your entire website was down for 5 days - it wouldn't be very good for business, right? Support has now reopened our ticket for a server move, so IF that happens ASAP without further problems, you will keep our business. The least you can do is extend the money back to try to make up for the negative impact you have had on our business.

Once again as I stated before, it seems like you aren't taking this problem or our business seriously. I was told if I asked for our money back that a manager would call back, so I am formally asking that a manager call back to discuss how we are going to solve these problems. I have asked support 100 times to talk with a manager, and they told me this email is the only way to initiate a conversation. Email is way too informal for such a serious problem. If you value our business, please move our server ASAP, extend our money back into September, and CALL ME back to talk through the entire solution.

I look forward to talking sooner than later.

Scott
Staff
9,521 Points
2013-08-23 1:24 pm
Hello Scott, and thanks for your comment.

I can definitely understand and appreciate your frustrations, please keep in mind this is a completely public forum so I've gone ahead and removed your private personal information from your post.

Also I'm not sure if you had a chance to read my reply above explaining why this particular issue has been as ongoing as it is, and that we're working already to improve our procedures for handling this type of problem.

As I'm sure having your website being down sporadically is not good for yourself or your business, please understand that we are suffering the same on a much larger scale. Our business is hosting websites, and we have an entire server full of loyal customers that are having extended issues getting to their sites.

It is definitely in everyone's best interest to have all of these problems fully resolved, but there are limitations on technology and man power and we are adjusting as best we can.

When a server is under a DDoS attack for an extended period of time, this can then cascade into further issues such as database connectivity problems. It's also not always immediately apparent the 100% root cause of a server issue, and it can change from one minute to the next. So at times our senior system administration staff tries to fill in our support staff on the current condition of the server, but this is just 1 server holding a small sub-set of our customers.

Our 24/7 support staff has had lunch breaks cancelled, been on chats and phone calls, and answering thousands of tickets since these issues started. Sometimes being in this fast paced ever evolving environment can lead to confusion, and that's one of the things we're working hard on addressing.

Typically when you get a response of "we're working on it, and we don't have an exact ETA", that is exactly what the support staff knows at the moment. We don't want to elude to all problems being resolved shortly, and then them not be. Also keep in mind they might have just fielded 20 calls before you about a wide-range of topics having nothing at all to do with your server issues.

We try to display notices publicly with updated information, and will continue to improve this process. As if everyone on the affected server wanted to call in and have a phone conversation with us on these issues, there would just be a lot of talking, but no solution to the problems.

You can think of a large shared-server with sporadic connectivity issues a lot like your power going out, sure you can call the power company to report the issue and get a status update of the outage, but that person on the phone isn't going to know the actual intricacy of the scope of the problem, or be able to correct it then and there for you.

I see that your account has already been queued for a server move along with other customers requesting this. Unfortunately the bulk of all processing power at the moment is going to serving websites and keeping databases going while still mitigating the affects of a few different types of malicious activity.

Your website is up right this second, and reviewing your access logs for the day it doesn't appear that you're missing out on a huge amount of traffic. I'm going to try to squeeze in a expedited server move for you, but please note that after moving to another server you'll have to wait 24-48 hours for DNS propagation to fully propagate, and with the current ongoing issues it could still take a bit to even start the migration process.

I really appreciate you leaving us feedback, and I don't want you to think I'm trying to downplay or dismiss your concerns at all. In fact the exact opposite, I agree we dropped the ball, and I am trying to do as much as I can to make sure this doesn't happen again.

We are only human, and want to see all of our customers enjoy, and recommend our service and staff. There will be kinks in the road, but please know that all hands are on deck and we are hearing our flaws loud and clear, and will work hard to address that.

- Jacob
2013-08-27 8:36 pm
Last update is five days ago on 8/22/2013. Have we got any more new information?
Staff
15,484 Points
2013-08-27 9:13 pm
Hello AngelElegance!

Thanks for calling us out on the article! Our apologies for not putting an update here sooner. I will update it shortly after this response. The problem has been resolved and the server should be back to normal.

Regards,
Arnel C.
2013-08-29 10:31 am
Hi - I am STILL having intermittent issues with biz136.

As of 1 minute ago, I received another MySQL connection error (PDOException: SQLSTATE[HY000] [2002] Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (11) ...). This error has been intermittent over the last few days plus in that time I have also had constant unacceptable load times (ie over 2 minutes to load a page in some cases). Static pages/assets seem to load OK - it is just pages through the CMS that are problematic which implies to me an ongoing problem with the MySQL server. This site has been performing fine when I first moved to Inmotion so I don't see how it could be heavy php/scripts that are the problem...

I am really trying to give you guys the benefit of the doubt here and I understand in part the issues you've had after a DDoS on biz136, but there is no 'open issue' listed on your support pages for this and your server status pages show everything is 'OK', in spite of the fact that this is obviously still an issue. I do not want to shift servers if it can be avoided but I have discussed with live Chat support two times now without getting an proper acknowledgement that there is a problem (because it is intermittent and of course isn't returning errors when they check).

I shifted to Inmotion because you had a great setup for my needs and good speeds, now I feel like I am in limbo with no one at Inmotion really acknowledging that there is still a problem.

Can I at least get a concrete answer here or via email?? My inmotion account name is paulda9

Thanks in advance,

Paul
Staff
9,521 Points
2013-08-29 12:38 pm
Hello paul-daniel,

I greatly apologize, we are still seeing intermittent connectivity issues with the biz136 server, especially related as you've mentioned to database activity. Unfortunately it looks like some of the individual database tables on the server had crashed, and during the repair process of these it's been putting the database server under additional stress.

We had an issue with our internal CMS, and it wasn't displaying our notices here still on the main support site. That should be fixed momentarily, and we will also be trying to update the server status page more frequently to reflect the current condition of the server.

At this exact moment the server biz136 is unfortunately experiencing connectivity issues again, and I'll update this article to reflect that as well.

Again really sorry for the troubles, and if you would like you can request to have your account moved to another server during these ongoing issues.

- Jacob
2013-08-29 6:56 pm
I am on biz104, according to the info on my account, and my site has been going down sporadically, and/or having atrociously long loading times, for days. This is not the first time this has happened. I just gave up waiting on hold for tech support and hung up--I assume I'm not the only one having trouble. I am really getting sick of this.

At one time I left a glowing review for InMotion on a site comparing hosting companies, and I have recommended InMotion to friends. Over the past several months, I've sadly come to regret that. When I go to my site, I shouldn't have to wonder if it will be there or not. Yesterday, it went out just as I was uploading a post. I wonder how many visitors I've permanently lost. I have another domain that is hosted by another company. That site is not having these kinds of problems.

I've given you the benefit of the doubt before, since your customer service folks have been so nice and helpful in the past and, heck, every server goes down at some point. I really want to like InMotion. But this has happened too often now. Yes, you are only humans and bad things are happening. But I am beginning to get the sense you also just don't have the equipment and staff to deliver on what you are selling. I signed up with a promise of 99% connectivity. I feel cheated. What is going on with biz104, and what are you doing about it?
Staff
15,484 Points
2013-08-29 9:26 pm
Hello Paperchip,

I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with your site going down sporadically or taking long times to load. I would be glad to check this for you (any of us on the community team would), but you provided us no information about your website. You only indicated the server as a whole. Unfortunately, when I check the server (and I've been doing this for the last 15 minutes), there is NO change in server load, and it's normal.

This does not mean that something isn't wrong with your website or possibly with our hosting of your site, BUT, we would need to take a closer look in order to determine the issue.

I can totally understand your frustration with the issue. It's been infuriating for us as well. If you're not aware, internationally, DDoS attacks have been hitting everyone - banks, hosting services, businesses, etc. I'm not trying to make excuses, but the reality is that we are facing something that we have not seen before. These issues take the highest precedence in management discussions and they are working to keep these issues to be as short-lived as possible, if not preventing them altogether. We do care about these issues and we're not sitting on our hands waiting for them to simply stop.

Please provide us some further information on your account, and we would be happy to look into the issue for you. Or, if you prefer, you can also email support@inmotionhosting.com (provide verification - either the last 4 digits of the credit card on the account, or the AMP password), and the issue can be handled privately.

Regards,
Arnel C.
2013-08-30 12:37 am
Wow. A website I manage was affected by this issue a week ago, and - after getting really pushy with a tech support rep - I was able to have it moved to my VPS server. I am just flabbergasted to see that this is still going on.

The thing is, I'm going to start developing a new site for a client soon, to be hosted on a shared server. I was planning to use InMotion and actually already quoted your prices to the client, but now I'm starting to get cold feet. If every site I host with you goes down and I have to move it to my VPS, pretty soon my VPS is going to go kaput.

I know this is akin to the hen asking the fox if it's safe to go in the henhouse, but here it goes: can you give me a convincing reason to believe that it's safe to host on a shared server with you? This is not a hobby, it's business.
2013-08-30 12:37 am
Thanks, Arn, for your prompt response. It is appreciated. As of this moment, my WordPress site, paperchipmunk.com, is loading fine. This is what's been happening. It's fine for quite a while (several hours) as far as I can tell, then suddenly it's gone--no page will load for 5 or 10 minutes or more. Then sporadically it will be very slow. Then it's fine...then it's gone again... (and it's definitely paperchipmunk.com only and not all of my internet--I'm sure to check). I suppose it's a bit like trying to take your car to a mechanic for a weird intermittent noise, and then it won't do it for the mechanic. It is frustrating for all, I agree. It's just a piddly little blog I have that doesn't get all that much traffic, but it is important to me.

I do appreciate you looking into this. As I say, I really do want to like InMotion. Your customer service in the past for me has gone well beyond helpful. I would really rather not change hosts if possible. If you do need me to send more detailed private information, please let me know, and I will send that to the tech support email.
Staff
5,391 Points
2013-08-30 11:24 am
Hi @BrasFestChi, I'm glad you asked such a direct question, Can you give me a convincing reason to believe that it's safe to host on a shared server with you?

Having a website down is bad for business. We host websites, and if our servers our not up, we're not doing our job and it's bad for business. All hosting companies have problems from time to time, such as when Bluehost, HostGator, and Hostmonster servers went down a few weeks ago.

If all hosting providers have downtime every now and then, in my opinion the next question would be: How is the company dealing with the situation, and how often / severe is the downtime?

InMotion Hosting is not a fly-by-night hosting company. We have been around for many years. We have a full staff of Support Agents, System Administrators, and so on. One reason to stay is because we are a legit company, we don't run our business out of a garage or anything like that. If you ever do happen to be on a server having continual issues, you can contact our Support Team and request to be moved to another server, which should alleviate the problem.

Because we have so many servers, the odds are greater that at any point in time there will be a server with an issue, minor or major. Our Systems Team monitors the servers 24/7, so when there is an issue, we are aware of it and working to resolve it. Sometimes it's a quick solution, other times it is not. If it is not a quick solution, then it is not fair that you remain on that server for several days with intermittent downtime, that's not what you're paying for!

Understand that all hosting companies will have problems from time to time, it's just the nature of the business. If you're treated with honesty and respect when these issues happen, you may want to give your host another chance. If you don't feel you're treated fairly / professionally when these issues happen, then maybe you should try another host.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts?

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