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We are pleased to announce that we will not stop and start your servers this Wednesday, December 21st, between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM UTC (i.e. 10:00 PM PST on Tuesday December 20, 2016, and 1:00 AM PST on Wednesday December 21, 2016).
Our maintenance operation was designed to address a vulnerability in the Xen virtualization software. To respond, we decided to upgrade the Xen software and take advantage of the features of the new version, to allow you to gain performance and avoid these types of maintenance operations in the future.
However, many of you have contacted us to ask us to change our approach. We started by adjusting the schedule, but it was not enough for many of you.
As a result, we have investigated alternative solutions and we will not stop and start your servers.
We've contacted all affected customers via email. Thank you very much for your feedback on this matter.
A critical security issue in the virtualization software Xen will become public July 26 and the Xen team has already informed Gandi of the necessary patches.
Since this announcement, we have already preemptively deployed the patches required to correct the issue. We have been monitoring the particular security flaw and have determined we will need to stop/start certain Xen VMs in order to assure that no further possible attack vector will remain.
We will be contacting the affected customers directly in order to allow them to sufficiently prepare for this stop/start and those of you who have not received any message from us are therefore not affected.
In order to minimize downtime and also to help minimize the impact in general, we would advise all affected to schedule a stop/start of their platforms yourselves sometime between now and the cutoff date of July 26, 2016.
Any affected VMs that you have not yet stopped and started again by 12:00 AM PDT July 26, 2016 (07:00 UTC), we will stop/start at some point between then and July 28 at 9:00 AM PDT (16:00 UTC). Please expect around 30 minutes of downtime per stop/start.
As always, if you have any questions or have any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer care team.
Edit 7/21/16: Previously we used the term "reboot" instead of "stop/start." Rebooting isn't sufficient to apply the security patch. Your VM(s) need to be stopped and then started again in order for the patch to take effect.
If you are the happy holder of a domain name or of a trademark, you might have received messages which look suspicious or seem to originate from dubious senders. One will, for instance, pretend your domain name is about to expire, but is not sent by the sponsoring Registrar. The other contacts you in your capacity as CEO and kindly informs you someone is trying to register domain names with Chinese top level tlds using your trademark and/or your company name.
After reading this message, you are left on your own, with many options ranging from ignoring the mail to forwarding the message to your attorney. You may be facing a slamming attempt, a common type of fraud which is perpetrated in various ways.
Last month, we warned our customers about a wave of slamming attempts and this article's goal is to provide an overview of the different frauds that go by the illustrious name "slamming" and to provide you with advice as to what to do when you receive such messages.
1. The "Protect your trademarks" (for a high price) scam
While pretending to offer help protecting your trademarks, a "Registrar" contacts you telling you someone is trying to register these trademarks in Chinese and Asian top-level domains such as .cn, .asia or .tw. This generous sender is simply willing to allow you to oppose these registrations! If you are still interested in protecting your trademarks, of course.
Usually, trademark holders reply instantly: yes please! Block these people trying to steal my business!
The trademark holder just confirmed his order for a domain name registration he did not need in the first place. And it is usually really expensive.
We advise you to: not (ever) reply to these alleged warnings. Replying will confirm you are reading the message and that you're worried about your tradermarks and will be considered by the scammer as a sign of weakness and vulnerablability.
2. The "Someone registered your domain name as a keyword" scam
These messages are usually written in an urgent tone. They are very similar to those above, even if they indicate someone registered your trademarks or domain names as keywords instead of domain names.
Again, please disregard these offers: replying will only lead the scammer to put pressure on you and offer overpriced (compared to average) services that you do not even need.
3. The "Your domain name will expire soon" scam
You might have received emails in the past indicating your domain name would expire soon while, to your knowledge, it was due to expire much later.
This type of scam works the same way no matter the perpetrator: you are being told your domain name is about to expire within the next few days and you could lose it. A document is usually attached to facilitate renewal process.
This document is not a real renewal order. By replying and ticking the box or accepting the offer, you are instead accepting a transfer of your domain name from your current Registrar to another.
Not only is your domain name being transferred from your trusted Registrar to an unknown and not-so-trustworthy Registrar (they emailed you out of the blue, remember), but you are also charged four or five times the price usually charged for such transfers.
We advise you to: upon reception of these so-called "reminders", your first reaction should be to perform a Whois check on your domain name to compare the "reminder" information and the Registry's information.
If the expiration date does not match the one the message you received, you are most probably reading a fake notification.
Quick reminder: keep in mind that you can enable the "transfer lock" protection on your domain names directly from your GANDI account as well as two-factor authentication and, at last, IP restriction, to increase the protection level on your domain name(s).
And as we mentioned before, remember our anti-spam protection feature. When this feature is activated, anyone who culls your email address from the whois (as domain slammers often do) will only get a "hashed" version @contact.gandi.net. You can know that emails sent to such an address do not come from Gandi.
If you encounter such a situation our key recommendations are to check the email headers for suspicious addresses and to double check the information provided in those emails (expiration date, domain name holder). This will protect you from mistaking a scam with a legitimate notification. In any case, do not hesitate toreach out to GANDI's customer care teams, they will be glad to help you sort things out and make sure you are dealing with a legitimate reminder.
Several phishing scams are currently in progress. They are targeting thousands of domain name owners who have registered domains through registrars around the world (including GANDI).
These emails claim that your domain name has been suspended, and asks you to click on a link to download a copy of the complaints.
DO NOT CLICK on the the link or download the document: it contains a virus!
It seems that those responsible for sending these emails use the information obtained from the public WHOIS domain name database, where they recover the name, email address, and name of the registrar associated with the domain.
The fraudulent emails can even appear to come directly from GANDI. Here is one example:
Subject: Domain Name exemple.com have been suspended
From: GANDI SAS
Message: Dear First Lastname,
The Domain Name example.com have been suspended for violation of the
GANDI SAS Abuse Policy.
Multiple warnings were sent by GANDI SAS Spam and Abuse Department to give
you an opportunity to address the complaints we have received.
We did not receive a reply from you to these email warnings so we then
attempted to contact you via telephone.
We had no choice but to suspend your domain name when you did not respond to
our attempts to contact you.
Click here and
download a copy of complaints we have received.
Please contact us for additional information regarding this notification.
Spam and Abuse Department
You should ignore this email. It is not necessary to send it to us: we have recieved dozens over the past few days and our teams are already on it.
Thank you for your attention.
We will reboot the VMs of affected customers (those which were not rebooted by their owner) from Thursday, October 22 until Wednesday, October 28. An outage of 30 minutes maximum is expected for each impacted VM.
Maintenance status page: http://status.gandi.net/timeline/events/226
WordPress 4.3.1 is available. With 26 bugs and 3 vulnerabilities fixed, it's time to update your WordPress!
We recommend making sure that automatic updates are enabled for your WordPress installation, or running a manual update. There's a lot to gain, and a lot to lose if you don't, since this release is mainly focused on security fixes.
Two of the corrected vulnerabilities are XSS (Cross Site Scripting), related to the processing of "shortcode" tags in versions 4.3 and earlier, and the user list page.
The other problem is a privilege escalation which in some cases allows an unauthorized user to post private items and mark them as "sticky".
Although this version does not add any new features, it corrects a total of 26 bugs that exist in version 4.3.
In all, 64 files have been modified, with improvements to various aspects of the web interface of the world's most popular CMS, as well as its backend functions.
So, log in to your admin console and get started!
Visit the official changelog for more details: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.3.1