Important Information about HIPAA Compliance

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As part of IX Web Hosting’s ongoing compliance initiatives, we have identified recent changes in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) that may impact some of IX’s customers. Specifically, these changes require Covered Entities and all of their Business Associates who create, receive, maintain transmit or have access to protected health information (or the possibility exists that the protected health information in the business associate’s custody or control could be compromised) to independently comply with HIPAA.

To help identify those customers who may be impacted, IX is asking its customers to notify IX if they are considered a Covered Entity or Business Associate under HIPAA and store or transmit electronic protected health information using IX’s services. IX will assume that the recent changes in HIPAA do not impact IX customers who do not identify themselves as a Covered Entity or Business Associate. IX has also updated its Terms of Service with customers to prohibit the use of protected healthcare information on websites that IX hosts.

If you answer “yes” to both of the following questions, please contact legal@ixwebhosting.com no later than 09/23/2013.

  • Is your business a Covered Entity or a Business Associate as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA (45 CFR 160.103)?
  • If so, are you maintaining or transmitting Protected Health Information or PHI (defined in 45 CFR 160.103) using any of the IX services?

If you did not answer “yes” to both of the above questions, there is no need for further action

Please see below for some frequently asked questions.

We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to continuing to serve you.

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If I answer “yes” to both questions will my service be impacted or change as a result of the new regulations? What if I answer “no”?

If you answer “yes” to both questions your services will change. You must transfer to another hosting provider. Upon request, we can provide you with the name of a provider who is HIPAA compliant and operating in a HIPAA compliant data center. If you answer “no”, there will be no changes to your services at this time.


If I answer “yes” to both questions what will IX do with the information that I provide?

IX will use the information to recommend you transfer your account to a provider who can supply HIPAA compliant services.


Will I be contacted by an IX representative whenever new regulations apply to my business?

Not necessarily. We may contact you if the regulations apply to and affect IX’s provision of services to you.

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Important Yahoo Mail Update

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On Monday, July 15th, Yahoo Mail will be removing all inactive email accounts (specifically, those that haven’t been logged into for the past year) and will be releasing them back into the public domain.

This could potentially affect anyone who currently has a mailing list that includes these unresponsive Yahoo email addresses, because if someone else picks up the released email address and gets an unfamiliar email or newsletter, they may end up marking it as spam.

If you have a mailing list that may include some of these email addresses, you may want to identify and remove them as soon as possible. If someone re-registers one of the released emails, gets your newsletter by mistake, and marks it as spam, it can easily cause ISPs like Google and Gmail to block any further emails you attempt to send.

It’s never pleasant to have to delete subscribers, but it’s better than being marked as spam.

Remember, Yahoo is making this change on Monday, July 15th, so try and contact your Yahoo contacts ASAP.

 

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Nice Try, Tornado

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No tornados @ IX!

As some of you may have read on our official Facebook page, IX Web Hosting was recently hit with a pretty nasty storm. The high winds lifted the roofs off of surrounding buildings, toppled tractor-trailer rigs, and shattered windows, both vehicle and building alike.

Shots of the surrounding damage

And, while the subsequent power outage has disrupted many businesses in the area, the employees at IX Web Hosting are still here, chugging away to keep this situation from affecting our customers in any way.

Though the storm struck without warning, we were able to make sure our customers’ accounts were completely unaffected by this incident. Our emergency generators are running at full power to make sure our servers are operating without interruption. We are having additional fuel delivered as needed so that we remain up as long as the power remains out.

This means our shared, VPS, and Cloud services are currently up and running, and should remain unaffected until the power outage is over. We will, of course, update you if anything changes or if we have any reason to suspect that this might change.

Fortunately, no IX employees were injured during the storm, and our building missed sustaining any physical damage. As for an ETA for when the local power outage will end, we’ve heard from our power provider, AEP, that power should be restored by 11:00 PM EST. [UPDATE: Power is restored! We had our generators refueled again just-in-case, but we're back on grid power!]

In the meantime, check out this video we captured of the storm touching down across the street, featuring our videographer, Stephi Kurz, and me, Mike Nichols, correctly identifying the storm as a “thing.”

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Important WordPress Security Update

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If you’re a customer who uses WordPress, you have probably already noticed the issues concerning logging into your WordPress control panel.

We wanted to send out this notification to alert anyone who hasn’t been briefed on the situation, as well as give some additional explanation about what is going on, how we’re handling it, and why we’re handling it in this manner.

  • A global brute force attack on WordPress’ wp-login.php file began on April 11th. This attack affected WordPress users worldwide and was experienced by virtually every web hosting company.

    • A ‘brute force’ attack is when an automated program (sometimes referred to as a ‘botnet’) repeatedly attempts to log into a password protected site by trying different passwords over and over again until it finds the right one.
  • We implemented a server side check to reduce the number of wp-login requests, but found that the attack started to increase the time between login attempts.
  • On April 12th, we noticed the botnet activity ramped up dramatically, and we were forced to block all traffic to wp-login pages. This was a temporary solution that remedied the brute force attack in the following ways:

    • Customer WordPress sites were able to stay up and running
    • All incoming brute force requests were stopped
    • This also kept out any unwanted, malicious intrusions into our customers’ sites
    • By blocking the malicious incoming traffic, it also stopped the slowness issues we were having on our Linux servers.

In the meantime, we began collecting attackers’ IPs so we could start blocking them.

  • On April 13th, we began using the data we’d collected on the attackers’ IPs to begin blocking them from connecting to our servers. This was a slow process that took time to refine and put in place as a permanent solution.
  • On April 16th, we removed the block on each server for wp-login once the new system was implemented across all of our servers. Users should now be able to log into their WordPress sites. Once you log in, we recommend that you change your password to something very strong (e.g. a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters like #, $, and &). You can find instructions on how to change your password here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Resetting_Your_Password.

The tactics used in the attack are changing daily (sometimes even hourly), and we are responding with adjustments of our own. While we currently have the situation under control, we are still watching and reacting to the attack to make sure it doesn’t begin affecting our servers again.

Although we can’t announce too many details about our attempts to block the attack (because we don’t want to give too much information to the attackers), we still want you to know that we are aware of the situation, and are working on it. Keep an eye on the status blog for major updates as the situation progresses.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to defend against this attack.

Sincerely,

Lisa Grice

Director of Customer Operations

IX Web Hosting

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A Gift from the Heart

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valentine-shared2

You know, we’ve always said we LOVE our customers, but with February 14th fast approaching, we get to prove it!

That’s right, Valentine’s Day is coming, and since digital candy doesn’t exist yet, we thought of another way we could spread the love and convince you to be ours.

So, light the candles and open the red wine, because IX Web Hosting is going to woo you with some seductive savings this Valentine’s Day.

Starting February 7th, on our popular Expert Plan, we’re taking 55% off our original price of $6.95. The lovely new price is a stunningly low $2.96! Not only that, but we’re offering almost 50% off all other shared hosting plans!

That’s better than a mediocre dinner at the bistro and a handful of chalky heart candies, right? Just remember, this dreamy deal ends the day after V-Day (February 15th), so stop dodging Cupid’s arrows and check it out now. We guarantee it’ll be love at first sight.

Keep us in your heart!

Love,

heart IXOXO Web Hosting heart

 

 

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We're Always There When You Need Us The Most!

Your Dedicated Support

At IX, we take care of our customers. And dedicated support is one of the ways we prove to you again and again that we are here to help you every step of the way, regardless of your skill level. With IX dedicated support, you get a support technician personally assigned to assist you. You get their name, number, email, social media connections, and work schedule! It's just one more facet of our service which proves our deeply rooted belief that being a great hosting provider requires more than just cutting-edge technologies, but the best in support and service.