Bug in linux ‘bash’ causes ‘shellshock’ – update required

September 25th, 2014 @ 11:55AM - 0 Comment(s)


A vulnerability in the linux Bash shell may allow for an attacker to execute code on a server and open the door to other attacks taking place that could lead to the server becoming fully compromised.

Many security experts are calling this bug “bigger than Heartbleed” and it’s important that system administrators patch vulnerable systems as soon as possible.

Affected distributions include:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (versions 4 through 7)
  • Fedora
  • CentOS (versions 5 through 7)
  • CloudLinux
  • Debian

To test your system for the exploit, you can run this command from shell:

$ env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' bash -c "echo this is a test"
this is a test

Most linux distributions have issued a fix, and for Redhat, CloudLinux and CentOS systems you can run yum update which will bring down the updated version of Bash.

Your system is no longer vulnerable if the above test returns this:

$ env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' bash -c "echo this is a test"
bash: warning: x: ignoring function definition attempt
bash: error importing function definition for `x'
this is a test

Mac OS remains unpatched by Apple at the time of writing.

Further information on this bug can be found at:




Economy Hosting LiteSpeed and PHP updates

September 21st, 2014 @ 04:30PM - 0 Comment(s)

We are pleased to announce that today is the start of the Economy Web Hosting service update week where we’ll be delivering our promised upgrade to LiteSpeed Web Server and updates of PHP to all Economy hosting servers. If you’re utilising an Economy Web Hosting service you will have received an email informing you of the changes, and this post is designed to provide a little more of the technical background. In the event you’re running a static HTML website or a CMS running the latest release, it’s unlikely you’ll need to do anything at all.

Each night a number of servers will be upgraded to LiteSpeed Web Server 4.2.14 which will deliver numerous benefits including up to 9 times increased performance over Apache and greater flexibility in how you work with PHP. During this maintenance the PHP version will also be updated to the latest PHP 5.5 release. This will standardise all Economy web hosting servers currently using either PHP 5.3.x or 5.4.x to bring you up to speed with the latest release, implement bug and security fixes, and general PHP improvements. Please note older PHP features such as register_globals, magic_quotes and sqlite are no longer available in PHP 5.5.

Despite this change each service will still support the use of older PHP versions, 5.2 through 5.5, to ensure we provide maximum compatibility for new and old scripts. You can switch between PHP versions using PHP Selector as per the steps below:

  1. Go to VIPControl, click Hosting Services and next to your service click the cPanel button; this will log you into your cPanel.
  2. On the cPanel homepage click the ‘Select PHP Version’ icon, which you’ll find under the Software/Services heading.
  3. There you can select either 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, or 5.5, as well as select any PHP modules you require.

Joomla 1.5 users

If you are using Joomla 1.5 for your website, this upgrade may cause issues for your website and result in errors being displayed. To resolve these you will likely need to use PHP Selector to enable PHP 5.3 and reduce your error reporting levels. As a general advisory please be aware that Joomla 1.5 became End of Life (EOL) in September 2012 and is as such unpatched against high threat security risks – we recommend upgrading as soon as possible, especially as Joomla is now up to release 3.3.

Custom PHP values

In the past many of our clients utilised our PHP.INI Builder within VIPControl to customise their PHP environment; this included values such as memory_limit, max_upload_limit, etc. With the updates detailed above this process is now different and the PHP.INI Builder will be removed from VIPControl. All existing php.ini files will remain in place, but they will only work in the directory they’re located (no longer throughout subdirectories).

With the new PHP environment we’re hopeful that the majority of customers will not need to make any changes, but for those of you who do, there is a new method. The new preferred method of customising the php values in your environment is to utilise PHP selector in cPanel; this makes it quick and easy with greater flexibility. To customise your PHP values please follow the steps above to enable PHP Selector, selecting any non-native PHP version, and then click “Switch To PHP Settings” where you customise the values you require.

We’re not predicting any problems as we’ve completed these changes in the past for all Business and Multi Hosting servers; but if you do have any questions or run into problems, we can be reached 24/7 via eTicket. We hope you enjoy the supercharged servers.

Supercharging servers with LiteSpeed

September 10th, 2014 @ 03:27PM - 0 Comment(s)

The Australian web hosting market is highly competitive and there’s a continuous demand for product and service innovation. At the beginning of 2012 VentraIP set out to find a means of improving our hosting service offering for Business and WHM Mutli Reseller services, to supercharge the performance of our servers and deliver an increasingly reliable service. During this time one of the solutions immediately recognised was that of LiteSpeed web server with its ability to deliver raw speed and something our competitors were not offering; allowing VentraIP to become the first Australian cPanel web host to power our servers with LiteSpeed Web Server and set a trend for other providers to follow.


Today VentraIP is a LiteSpeed Technologies Partner and we have recently announced that we are bringing this service improvement to all Economy servers as well. The quality and performance of the LiteSpeed product is backed by cPanel’s commitment in June 2014 to provide official support for the Apache replacement product; re-enforcing that we made the best choice possible for our clients, in 2012, to become Australia’s first cPanel web host to deliver LiteSpeed.

The implementation of LiteSpeed on Business and WHM Multi Reseller services to date has helped us to improve our product delivery to ensure we meet the demands of our clients in a world where website performance is paramount. The implementation of the LiteSpeed Web Server product has delivered measurable performance improvements across our fleet when compared to the traditional Apache backend, representing greater than 50% increases in performance. In a nutshell this means that we can deliver your webpages to more of your clients and with greater speed, than a traditional Apache web host can. For you this means that our servers can facilitate a greater number of concurrent visitors to your website, which in turn translates to greater profit potential for your business.

To see the official benchmarks for static content please visit the LiteSpeed blog.

VentraIP Business Hosting

Having already received the benefits of LiteSpeed Web Server over the past 2 years, VentraIP is bringing you even greater enhancements to your service through cutting edge technology. In August we began the roll-out of our new DELL Cloud Based Hardware with Intel Enterprise SSD storage, and some lucky customers are already experiencing the benefits of this latest generation product. You can be guaranteed that with VentraIP we’re delivering on our promise of supplying only enterprise grade SSD drives (currently Intel DC3500), where some other providers will only use desktop consumer grade product! We refuse to compromise on performance and long-term reliability.

If you haven’t yet made the switch to VentraIP Business hosting, now is an excellent time to do so. You’ll enjoy the benefits of LiteSpeed Web Server and PHP 5.5 (improve your speed with OP Code caching), SSD driven DELL Cloud Hardware, 24/7 priority support plus much more.

LiteSpeed Available for Virtual Private Servers

We’ve recently added LiteSpeed licenses to our arsenal of VPS addons. If you have an existing VPS with VentraIP and you’re interested in installing LiteSpeed to improve your website performance, please get in touch with our Billing team. LiteSpeed licenses are available from just $19.95 per month.


VentraIP Business Web Hosting with cPanel delivers a quality, fast and reliable service which Australian businesses demand. Providing an optimised environment to support anything from a WordPress website through to a full blown Magento online store, VentraIP provides you with a service which allows you to spend more time working with your clients and less time worrying about your online services. Make the switch to a VentraIP Business Web Hosting service with cPanel today from just $24.95 per month.

Choosing the right hosting solution

September 2nd, 2014 @ 12:10PM - 0 Comment(s)

When you’re looking for a new web hosting solution for a brand new website or even for an existing one, what do you look for in determining if it’s the right solution for you? Whilst the immediate cost of the product may leap out at you and the basic features tick all the boxes, are you making the right decision short, medium and even long term?


Considerations to be made

Platform Features

This is the most immediately important component of any web hosting solution, do the included features line up with the specification sheet that you have for your website scripting platform? Most start up personal and small business websites will typically opt for an out of the box Content Management System (CMS) platform such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, and in those cases a web host who provides a Linux platform with the latest PHP and MySQL releases will be top of your pile. But what if you’re running something which is custom or perhaps different from those aforementioned CMS’s, do they require Windows with ASP, do they require Linux with a custom Apache module?

The best thing to do is check with your developer, or the developers of the script you’re using (see their website), to see what server specifications/features are required. Information is power and with those details you can provide the specifics to each prospective host so they can confirm suitability.


You want your new website to take off, and to do that it needs to be always online. When selecting your new web host make sure you’re looking at an appropriate pricing point which provides the level of service which you demand for your website. A $1 per month web hosting plan may suit the budget nicely, but if you’re expecting to make $1,000 a day in revenue through your website is it appropriate to spend just 0.003% of that on your primary earner? Spending just a little bit more on your web hosting service will typically see you placed on better hardware, platforms with greater optimisation, better client<>server contention ratios, improved support and the presence of service level agreements.

Secondly, make sure you choose a provider who has been in the industry for some time and is backed by a team with experience; this will ensure they have the experience to solve the problems which may be encountered and place appropriate investment into continuously improving the quality of service.


Your website may only need to support a small number of visitors and products today, but what about 6-12 months down the line? Moving services between providers as you grow may not be ideal, so choosing a provider who has a range of products may be your best option. Providers who offer a range of shared web hosting solutions to suit small start-ups all the way to small-medium businesses and then Virtual Private Server (VPS) solutions to provide growth opportunities, allow for flexibility and scalability as you grow. You should aim to have a long term relationship with your web host to save long term headaches, so choosing a provider who can meet your needs of today and tomorrow is critical. Ask your prospective provider what opportunities exist before you commit.


Final Remarks

With this knowledge now bestowed upon you, making the right decision for your online future make be a more time consuming task to reach but it will deliver the results your business demands. After all you wouldn’t want to make the mistake of launching a new website, only to have it crash on the first day because the right solution was not selected.

The VentraIP Group was formed in 2009 and is proud to be fully Australian owned and operated, providing services to over one hundred thousand Australian individuals and businesses. VentraIP is a name Australian’s can trust for reliable online solutions for web hosting, domain name registrations, virtual private servers and SSL certificates. With VentraIP you can build your online presence today with a product for tomorrow.

Starting from just $7.95 per month our Economy web hosting plans provide an excellent starting point for personal and start-up websites. For those who require increased reliability and speed, our Business web hosting plans start from just $24.95 per month featuring our latest and greatest SSD DELL Cloud Hardware solution, LiteSpeed web-server for amazingly fast page loads and 99.9% up-time guarantee providing a solid platform for you to thrive in the online world. VentraIP chooses cPanel for each of it’s shared web hosting products to provide reliability and ease of use to all clients, allowing you to spend less time managing your website and more time growing your business.

Finally we can assist you in scaling up with our VPS range starting from just $49.95 per month affording you the flexibility, stability and reliability that an ever growing business demands. If you are interested in any product or service offered by VentraIP Australia, please contact us on (03) 9013 8464 or see our Contact Us page.