Fasthosts, Stupid or Smart?

Fasthosts aren’t having an easy time of it at the moment.

It was discovered in October their user database had been comprised.

They did a couple of things to resolve the problem including getting in touch with their customers to inform them of the problem. At the same time they were asked to change their password to help prevent any further problems

A month later they decided to reset all the passwords of the accounts where the original request had been ignored and sent out new passwords by post (customers are also able to call the support desk, verify their identity and get the password that way)

I’m not a FastHosts customer so hadn’t been particularly following this but what caught my eye was a story on the BBC news site.

The story covers how upset the users of FastHosts where when they had their passwords changed and locked out of their sites while they wait for post to arrive

The reason they are upset is (quote)

“This is causing severe problems for thousands of businesses and is only going to get worse,” said Simon Metcalfe of SDM Insight.

A story on the Times website has some details about customers who are upset at how much business they have lost

This article also says they were informed by post so they can’t even use the “i didn’t get the email” excuse

I’m sorry but i don’t quite get this.

If your website is so critical to your business that when your host has their database hacked you ignore their request to change your password?

Your host then decides to cover your back since you can’t be bothered to protect your “business critical website” (after a month i might add, plenty of time to have done it yourself)

And your upset?

If your a FastHost customer and this situation has annoyed you i’d love to hear why?

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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6 thoughts on “Fasthosts, Stupid or Smart?

  • I agree. Yeah, they’re stupid for being hacked in the first place, but it happens. Exactly what else are they supposed to do to rectify the problem, if not change passwords and inform customers?

    Perhaps these customers would have preferred their sites to be hijacked and personal details plundered rather than spend 15 seconds changing one setting?

  • Probably for the same reason a business owner demands all his employees run as local administrator because it’s too inconvenient not being able to install software at the drop of a hat.

    Some people are, despite your best efforts, just totally clueless.

  • I was affected by the password change, but at the same time I can see where you are coming from. It was a good idea to reset the passwords. The problem is that Fasthosts also resells its services through “white label” meaning that people with websites hosted on Fasthosts may not have known it. I have a website hosted, I thought, on It just so happened that I got locked out at the same time as all this was occurring. I can guess that is actually using Fasthosts. As Fasthosts would have sent the password change request to it is actually the last ISP (in this case that is to blame for the break down in communications. It is for this reason that people are angry. They are just venting their anger in the wrong place.

  • Thanks for the comment Peter

    Sorry to hear you were affected.

    Disappointing to hear it was your “man-in-the-middle” that let you down

    I wonder how many other people are in a similar situaton but blame FastHosts. As you said the reseller is at fault here (IMHO)

    Are you keeping your business with them?

  • I have started to look at other hosts but I am not ready to jump ship yet. It is a bit of a hassle and it is difficult to know if another host will be any better. My host also made an error earlier in the year with one of our less used domain names (fixed now). So they have made two mistakes, but neither affected us too badly. Any more mistakes and we are gone. The three-strike-rule.

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