Failure and data loss at Web Hosting Canada still unexplained


Montreal-based service provider Web Hosting Canada has yet to explain the cause of a major incident on Saturday that took customers on eleven of its servers offline, with the loss of data on five of the machines. Only two of the servers have been put back into service to date.

Monday morning, the company still did not answer his phone. Instead, he asked callers to use his online chat service or create a customer support ticket.

It is not known whether the incident was a technical issue or a cyber attack.

On its website the company said five of the nine servers had both their local storage and their external backup storage “badly damaged.”

In a post on Sunday night at 11 p.m., he said his initial efforts to recover data on those five servers had failed. Attempts to recover backups for them also failed. The company has now hired an outside data recovery company to help.

This morning, the company said the recovery of four servers is underway. At 9 am, a waiter named “Beaubien” was at 88%, “Peel” and “Atwater” at 65%, while “Rachel” was at 64%. (Customers would know the names of their servers.)

In a post Sunday night, the company said it hoped to fully recover all accounts on those servers from backups “by the end of the day Monday and hopefully sooner.”

For those who have local backups of their websites and / or data and are able to upload the files, a new account on a new server will be created.

For those who do not have local backups, “we now recommend all affected customers who have experienced data loss to consider using a new temporary hosting account already created in their customer area” in a service baptized Lifeboat.

Once these customers’ domains are linked to the new account, it will function like their previous email and website hosting accounts. “These accounts will remain free until at least January 1, 2022 and are intended as a stopgap until a more permanent solution is found,” the company said.

UPDATE: On September 13, WHC said its recovery efforts “have been very effective and we have successfully restored the most affected accounts through our courtesy backups.”

“Some of the data we recovered may have been corrupted,” he added. “The level of data corruption we’ve seen so far is minimal. However, even a low level of data corruption can prevent a website from fully functioning.

Private Web Hosting Canada offers a range of services including web hosting for businesses and resellers, cloud servers, dedicated servers and managed WordPress hosting, website virus protection, SSL certificate creation and more, with servers in several regions of the country. The founder and CEO of the company is Emil Falcon.

Its home page says the company “enjoys the trust of over 60,000 Canadian small businesses.”

The first statement regarding the incident that the company made on its website came at 1 p.m. on Saturday, when it said: “We can confirm that several systems are currently affected by a major incident. We try to recover the source data and restore the functionality of the service and will release updates as they become available. Eleven of the 13 systems were down.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, he was working on backups of four servers. At 7:50 p.m., the company warned that five other servers had suffered “more severe data loss” than others. At that time, he also informed customers who had their own backups that new accounts could be created.

By Sunday morning, data from two servers had been fully recovered and functioning normally, with the recovery of four continuing. But later that morning, the company said the external backup servers for the five ailing systems had been “partially destroyed.”


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