Datarealm.com General Information
Datarealm was found in 1996 and it is now 17 years in business.
Website title: Datarealm: Ultimate Web Hosting and E-Commerce
Website description: Linux hosting with Control panel and ecommerce software. Located in Hudson, WI.
Datarealm Internet Services
PO Box 1616
Hudson, WI 54016
Datarealm Reviews by Users
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|Andreas, 03rd of December, 2011|
|This is a long post - you might want to grab a snack before you get started - I started co-locating a server with datarealm.com (or rackmounted.com - its a little confusing) in June of 2009. I purchased a server from Dell and had it shipped to them. They installed the latest version of ubuntu and created a root user as well as user for me. They sent me the password for the user they created for me so that I could configure my server to host the few sites and pet projects that I had going on (as well as a few family sites). As far as I know they never sent me the root user password and i never changed it (this is important for later). I was aware that it was my job to monitor bandwidth and that there were overage fees - they provide some minimal reporting in their somewhat clunky administration section. |
Towards the end of October 2011, my server was hacked by an outside service. I should have more diligently been watching my bandwidth reporting provided in the admin but my apache web stats were not changing dramatically (the attacks happened over the ssh port) and it was a very busy period for me. I was notified of the attack because someone contacted me by email saying that my server was attempting to ssh in to theirs as the root user. I immediately logged in to my server and noticed close to 60 ssh processes running as the root user (it seemed to be a root level exploit). I shut down my machine and when I tried to start it up again - ssh had been disabled entirely. I attempted to contact someone at Datarealm by phone but it was impossible and no one returned my message.
I submitted a ticket to their ticketing system and they responded that my server was hacked at the root level (which I already knew) and that it would need to be re-installed - they had disabled ssh and would allow me to get on to grab what I needed. Shortly after that they sent me a response that said I owed $12,400 for bandwidth overages. Shortly after that they auto-billed my credit card for $293 for what they said were October overages. I never got to speak to a person or get an explanation of how or what happened to my server. Stupidly I allowed them to re-install my os so all the evidence was gone.
The fact that they would auto-bill my credit card for overages in a case that was so plainly a hack without even conferring with me I found to be grossly distasteful. If someone had at least contacted me, made me aware of the situation and how to move forward in a secure fashion I probably would have been fine with some of the charges but to just start billing away - it seems wrong. Prior to the hacking episode my bandwidth consumption was at the most between 10-20gb a day. After the attack my bandwidth consumption spiked to 750gb for a prolonged period. When I tried to ask if they donít have any kind of system to monitor mysterious spikes in traffic like this they responded they donít and that they deal with fortune 500 companies and canít make assumptions about bandwidth usage for co-located servers. This even though Datarealm claims to be charged themselves high rates for bandwidth overages - you think they would have something in place to protect their own interests. It all just seems very fishy - especially since they were the only ones who knew the root password as far as I know.
Long story short - I went back and forth with Datarealm for several days about the charges. They kept dropping the charge lower claiming they were doing me a service but really seeming to be fishing for a price I would accept. Meanwhile I was forced to cancel my hosting with Datarealm, tell my friends and family they needed to find new hosting and all the while I have no server and no sites myself and a whole lot of work to get things back up and running. They finally settled on a price of $1,399 in addition to the $293 I already paid and the $300 I have pre-paid for hosting for the year. This still seems exorbitantly high for a hacking episode where both parties seemed to be negligent. Meanwhile they have my server and wonít mail it back to me until I pay them the $1399 (roughly the price of my server) . I offered to give them the server if they would just eliminate the charges to which they responded they donít do ďbuy backsĒ - even though I purchased the server myself! I even offered to pay $600 on top of what Iíve already paid plus the price of shipping me the server but I havenít heard anything back from them for several days.
Iíve learned a lot from the episode - install your own OS, change passwords frequently, monitor your bandwidth provider like a hawk, be sure to apply all security updates, donít allow root ssh access, etc... but I think the thing I learned the most is: Donít host with Datarealm.com (or Rackmounted.com or whover they might be tomorrow).
|SpritWebb, 10th of September, 2011|
|I use them, and have been with them for nearly a year now. Have two domains with them. Their customer service goes above and beyond to get any issues fixed regardless of what the cause. I would recommend them to anyone at any time. I plan on getting more domains with them in the future...|
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