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Former Employee At Web Hosting Service Arrested And Charged With Felony Computer Breaches

Ars Technica reported that Eric Gunnar Gisse, a former Hostgator employee, has been arrested and charged with felony computer breaches. Gisse allegedly used his position to install secret code that allowed him unauthorized, "back door" access to more than 2,700 Internet-connected computer servers. Gisse, of San Antonio, Texas is being held on $20,000 bail in the Harris County jail.

This highlights one risk with cloud computing services. Many companies outsource the operation of their website to third-party vendors, such as Houston-based Hostgator, that offer what the industry calls "web hosting services." This is not new.

As a usability professional who has worked with several digital agencies, I have seen this outsourcing repeatedly work well and data maintain security. The issue is when employees abuse their positions and either steal or expose the sensitive information of people who use the compromised web servers.

The C/Net website lists companies that provide web hosting services.

Comments

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Chanson de Roland

So hosting web services are no more secure than the integrity of each employee with sufficient permission to access and compromise the system.

VIRS Registry

I'm using services from Hostgator since 2009 and it's kinda alarming that one of their employees can secretly insert codes.

Glad the company clean it out successfully.

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