GoDaddy, one of the world's largest domain registrars and web hosting companies, has acknowledged that it suffered a customer data breach during 2019 which it only apparently became aware of during April 2020. The company, which it's reported serves over 19 million customers worldwide, has said that the data breach only affected the data of 28,000 customers.

According to a notification that GoDaddy sent to some of its customers, an unauthorized user used their web hosting account credentials to connect to their hosting account via SSH.

"We recently identified suspicious activity on a subset of our servers and immediately began an investigation. The investigation found that an unauthorized individual had access to your login information used to connect to SSH on your hosting account. We have no evidence that any files were added or modified on your account. The unauthorized individual has been blocked from our systems, and we continue lo investigate potential impact across our environment. We have proactively reset your hosting account login information to help prevent any potential unauthorized access; you will need to follow these steps in order to regain access. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend you conduct an audit of your hosting account."

The statement GoDaddy sent to customers confirming the data breach. Source: GoDaddy

GoDaddy expands to South Africa

During March 2019 GoDaddy opened its office in South Africa stating that it was mainly establishing its presence in South Africa to "empower small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive online." Following that launch, the company held several onboarding workshops with South African small businesses.

However, the latest data breach could leave some of their customers questioning the security measures in place to secure their accounts.

So far, GoDaddy has stated that it has not yet found any evidence of the attackers adding or modifying any files on the impacted customers' hosting accounts. Also, the web hosting company assured the affected users that only their hosting accounts were affected as part of the incident, while their main GoDaddy account was not accessible to the attackers.

GoDaddy customers cautioned about data breach

Despite this, GoDaddy has also cautiously advised its customers to conduct an audit of their web hosting accounts to double-check and make sure that no files or data was altered and that everything is still in order.

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"On behalf of the entire GoDaddy team, we want to say how much we appreciate your business and that we sincerely regret this incident occurred. We are providing you one year of Website Security Deluxe and Express Malware Removal at no cost. These services run scans on your website to identify and alert you of any potential security vulnerabilities. With this service, if'a problem arises, there is a special way to contact our security team and they will be there to help. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We have already taken and will continue to take measures to enhance our security in light of this incident."

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