Unfortunately we have now reached a decision and we will, unwillingly, be discontinuing our Sheffield VPS product range at the current time. Please contact us at support [at] virtual6 [dot] uk to have your remaining time refunded, for the fastest response, please attach your latest paid invoice if you have it, or the unique PayPal transaction ID provided by PayPal. Our support agents will arrange a refund of your remaining term. We apologize profoundly for any inconvenience caused by this situation. Webhosting customers will be provided with a new webhosting account to honour the remainder of the contract.
Since 2017-09-22 18:01:35 our network has been saturated by a severely large DDoS attack which has continued for the last 16 hrs and 30 mins. At this point we're doing our best to liaise with our datacenter to resolve this. The attack was/is targeted at our website, this incident is not related to any of our customers, for this reason we cannot release more specific details for security purposes. We sincerely apologize to our customers at this time. Rest assured we're working as hard as we can to restore our services.
An official announcement on the ongoing situation will be released at 18:00 tomorrow evening. We sincerely apologize that we cannot release further information until then, but please do understand that this action is been purposely taken to secure customer (Your) data. This is our top priority right now. Whilst we understand customers are probably justifiably angry right now, please refrain from opening payment disputes until we have disclosed further information as this will only damage us and our recovery further. Thank you all.
The Virtual6 brand has endured and overcome so much in it's short history. We're fighters and we can only hope our customers know this and stand by us.
We can now release an official statement describing the events leading up to the beginning of our service outage and the current status of this unfortunately ongoing situation.
We now know that it started, without our knowledge, on 09/10/17 at 12:38:34. Our Level 3 tech were notified automatically that the VPS hosting our shared cPanel/WHM server was not responding to a ping request, upon investigation they found that MYSQL was running out of memory and CPU was through the roof, they restarted the server which seemingly fixed the errors presented and things stabilized, unaware that there were any network issues. The server was fine for another 216 hrs 47 mins before been knocked offline again on 19/09/17 at 13:29:17 for 2 hrs, 5 mins. The same issues were again diagnosed by our Level 3 technicians and again the server was rebooted, but at this point Ashley Hawkridge (Acting Manager) was informed of the re-occurring issue.
On 20/09/17 at 09:27:13 the same problems were presented again, after management review it was discovered that the database crash was related to an increase in traffic or packets. The MYQL server was been overloaded with requests, causing the server to consume more memory and thus exhausting the system entirely causing complete lockup of the operating system. At this point we began to mitigate as best we could at the operating system level, using firewall rules etc. Our efforts started to weaken and on 21/09/17 at 22:44:59 our server was knocked offline again for a duration of 11 hrs, 46 mins. On 22/09/17 at 10:31:25 we managed to restore access again for a total of 7 hours and 30 minutes.
We would at this point like to point out that nobody at our datacenter had confirmed DDoS attacks or notified us of them, it is only through our own diagnosis that we confirmed something was present and had no access to any datacenter provided traffic graphs etc. Then at 18:01:35 our entire subnet was seemingly dropped and we finally received confirmation and notification of a 3Gbps DDoS attack, targeted at our website. We were also informed of numerous attacks that had taken place for the last two weeks without our knowledge.
After following up the notification we were informed that our IPv4 subnet would not be re-routed and our server had been physically disconnected, with no chance of resolve until Monday morning. For obvious reasons, we found this behavior unacceptable but were at the will of the facility until Monday morning as specified.
Monday 25th September 2017 arrived and after awaiting a response which we expected would be made priority Monday morning, we finally received a response from our datacenter at 12:00. This response informed us that we must pay for labor costs and bandwidth resulting from the attacks, attacks which we were unaware and not notified of for the last two weeks. If we did not pay the charge, our server would remain disconnected. The amount totaled £360 + VAT. As the datacenter has not provided with us any traffic graphs, or evidence of the bandwidth used nor had they informed us of the DDoS attacks running up to Friday, we simply refused to pay this unjustified charge. At this point, we were essentially evicted from the datacenter and told to collect our equipment. We were also falsely accused of encouraging piracy, by selling Plex focused VPS services. Something that our datacenter seemingly picked up from a post on our company blog a while back. They also insisted that going forward, we must pro-actively monitor our customers usage, something we would not even begin to entertain.
As you can imagine, posting this information was not possible from our point of view, until we had collected our equipment and physically had it on our possession. We can confirm that yours/our data is now back in our hands. Obviously this does not resolve the fact that all of our content is offline and has been since Friday, but we are now in a better position than we were.
We understand that the majority of our customers chose to host with us because of the rare location we offered, Sheffield UK, this was the entire foundation of our business. Obviously this is now impossible and we are left with an important decision to make. Our partners will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the outcome of this situation at which point a further announcement will be made. We would like to sincerely apologize to our loyal customers for this entire situation and hope you can appreciate the situation we are faced with right now.
Please check back for further updates tomorrow.