000webhost is one of the largest free web hosting companies on the web, because…well, they don’t charge anything for hosting their customers’ websites.
Approximately 13 million businesses and individuals have websites hosted with them, and now every one of those customers are at great risk of having their websites and other online accounts hacked.
I won’t post the link to 000webhost’s website because it is currently in maintenance mode as they try to mitigate the damage from the hack (you can Google it if you’re curious), but if you are one of their customers you need to take immediate action to protect your website’s information and sensitive customer data.
Apparently the email addresses, usernames and passwords for every 000webhost customer account have been stolen by hackers because the company failed to keep their servers updated with the latest security patches.
The dangers to 000webhost customers are two-fold:
1 – Every website hosted by the company is now wide-open to being hacked, for obvious reasons. That puts you and/or your company’s reputation and sensitive information at risk – not to mention your customers.
2 – Since the hackers have the passwords for all of 000webhost’s customers, they can easily log into and assume control of any other online accounts that those customers have used the same passwords on. If this applies to you, I recommend that you change all of your passwords immediately.
And finally, a word about free hosting: I don’t recommend it. I’m a huge fan of freebies, but sometimes a product or service is so important that they are worth paying for. And web hosting falls into that category in my humble opinion.
Your website is the public’s window into your world, allowing potential friends and customers alike to see what you have to offer them. As this hack vividly illustrates, some free hosting companies aren’t as diligent as they should be when it comes to keeping the software on their servers up-to-date and secure.
Luckily, a quality web hosting plan with some of the world’s best hosting companies can be had for just a few bucks a month. For example, Hostgator will host your website or blog for less than $10 per month, and right now they’re running a special offer that will allow you to get started for just 1 cent!
Bottom line: If you have a personal or business website hosted with 000webhost, I strongly recommend that you move your site to another host and change all of your passwords ASAP.
Note: The links in this post are affiliate links.