Brute force SSH protection

2231021824_6ce69c077d_zWe have implemented some brute force SSH attack protection on VMs.

Your servers should start to receive fewer connections from bots trying to bruteforce crack passwords on your server user accounts.

Behind the scenes we have setup honey trap servers.  Botnets with no good reason to connect to these servers attempt to connect to the servers and brute force passwords there.  We monitor these failed attempts.  And then block those IPs on our VM host firewalls.  You do not need to configure anything on your VM.

The upshot is should be fewer SSH brute force attacks on servers.  Improving your server security, and lowering load on hosts.

On a not unrelated note: please use good strong passwords.  Particularly on important accounts.  $commonword with a number on the end is no longer sufficient.

Image Credit: Dino Giordano

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Tuning apache for production use

Apache http serverApache is probably the most common web service our customers use. It is an amazingly powerful and mature tool for serving all your website needs. And is very easy to get up and running with

Our team is often asked to tune apache to run more smoothly, more quickly, and more reliably. With a few simple server side tweaks you can easily polish your server till it is ready for 'production' use of your website. Continue reading

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deghost ridding the world of the ghost vulnerability one host at a time

deghostAs part of our mission to wipe the 'ghost' vulnerability (CVE-2015-0235) from our customers servers we have created 'deghost'.

Deghost is a cross-distro script to determine the vulnerability of a libc library on a server and then patch that where possible.

In most cases this is as simple as apt-get install libc6 or yum upgrade glibc.  But like most things there are a lot of corner cases.  This script tackles things like switch from squeeze to squeeze-lts repositories.  Changing to old-releases repositories for unsupported ubuntu distros.  And offers a (non-default) option to --break-eggs and do a dist-upgrade to the latest Debian/Ubuntu release.

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RimuHosting adds a Frankfurt presence

We are excited to announce that we now offer servers in Frankfurt, Germany. This will be a great for users wanting a server central to the EU, and complements the plans we already offer in London.

You can see more information about the data center at

We are using new generation Haswell-EP based servers there, with ECC registered DDR4 memory and large, fast Intel enterprise SSDs.

If you are interested in setting up a server, check out our plans.

If you are interested in dedicated server options there also pop in a query so we can talk through the options.

Image credit: melanie


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Next gen Haswell-EP systems available

e52620v3Intel have just released their next generation dual proc Haswell-EP-based servers.  We ordered a batch from our trusty systems integrator.  And this morning the servers arrived at our Dallas data center loading dock!  Those same servers are now available now on our dedicated server ordering page.

Pricing is from USD 409/m with a base config of 32GB of memory and 2x1TB hard drives.

The Haswell-EP follows on from the older Nehalem-EP, Westmere-EP, and Sandy Bridge-EP systems.

We are currently offering two of the Haswell-EP CPUs.  The 6 core E5-2620v3 (2.4Ghz) and the 8 core E5-2630v3 (2.4Ghz).

Benchmarks show the Haswell-EP systems out performing similar clock speed previous gen CPUs by about 20% overall.

The new CPUs come with a new socket so there is a new main board with lots of important performance improvements:

  • RimuHosting are currently using the SuperMicro X10DRI mainboard.
  • This mainboard is based on Intel's C612 chipset.
  • All SATA ports are SSD-loving SataIII 6gbps.  Previously only 2 ports were Sata III and the remainder were SataII.
  • Memory slots are DDR4.  DDR4 runs at a faster speed than DDR3 (we are currently using DDR4-2133).  Throughput can be increased by up to 50%.  On these servers the memory is ECC registered.  DDR4 power consumption is a bit lower leading to cool, reliable systems.

As usual we have options with redundant power supplies on A+B power.  We also offer Intel SSD storage; hardware RAID; memory up to 256GB; and private networking.

If you wanted a Haswell-EP server in a location other than Dallas, just email us and we can quote for that in one of our other data centers.

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Replace webmin self-signed certificate to avoid sec_error_invalid_key error

badcertRecent browser versions (e.g. Firefox 33) refuse to work with older Webmin installs.

They give a sec_error_invalid_key error, offer a 'Try again' button, but do not offer an option to add an exception.

Firefox 33 no longer supports certificates with private keys smaller than 1024 bits.

You can replace your webmin certificate with a new one by running this command:

openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout $file  -out $file \
 -days 3650 -nodes -subj \
openssl x509 -x509toreq -in $file -signkey $file >> $file
/etc/init.d/webmin restart

This command will create a 'pem' file with both the private key and self-signed certificate in the same file.  -nodes will let you create the file without a passphrase.  The -subj option saves you having to manually enter certificate details.

Or you can do it by setting ssl=0 in /etc/webmin/miniserv.conf; restarting webmin with "/etc/init.d/webmin restart" then using the web interface to make the certificate change at Webmin -> Webmin Configuration -> SSL Encryption -> Self Signed Certificate

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CPU usage graphs


A quick new feature:  You can now view CPU graphs for your VMs the RimuHosting control panel.

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SSLv3 and securing against Poodle

If you are using SSL in your web server, you probably want to read this.

Google recently published details about an attack that targets SSLv3.

The exploit first allows attackers to initiate a “downgrade dance” that tells the client that the server doesn’t support the more secure TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol and forces it to connect via SSL 3.0. From there a man-in-the-middle attack can decrypt secure HTTP cookies. Google calls this the POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) attack. [...] In other words, your data is no longer encrypted.

The default configuration for most web servers still allows SSLv3 and often also SSLv2. And other potentially weak ciphers. However it is easy to fix, Continue reading

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Getting Started with Docker

Docker logoWritten by Andrew Colin Kissa

We’re happy to announce the availability of Docker support on our VPS installations.
In this blog post, we aim to introduce you to Docker one of
the most exciting and powerful open-source projects that has sprung up in the recent

In a nutshell, Docker offers you the tools to package everything that forms an
application, allowing you to deploy the application effortless across systems and
machines both virtual and physical.

Just as Java was write once run anywhere, Docker allows you to setup once and
deploy anywhere. Continue reading

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Centos 7 Release – Whats New

centos_logoHot on the heels of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 release the Centos team have put out Centos 7 and now we are happy to offer a Centos 7 VM image on our control panel.  You can select it on new installs and also on re-installs.

This has been a long awaited update due to a few new features, and changes which we have wanted/needed.

Here are a few of the changes in the new distro and what they will mean to you. Continue reading

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