Smartyhost sucks

I tried the new Google Chrome browser yesterday and went to one of my sites to test it. I was amazed when it through up a malicious site warning so went to investigate.

What I found was some code had been added after the closing HTML tag on the page which pointed to Google-analysis. At first I thought this was some odd response of a beta browser to google analytics but on further investigation found it to be a Trojan.

At this stage I thought it could have been either our ISP trying to track our usage or our host, so I uploaded the page again and the problem disappeared. In further investigation I found that our hosting provider Smartyhost has had problems with this as far back as March of this year, and there was quite a few reports of infections and reinfections after the code had been removed.

I phoned up smartyhost support and asked them to explain why this had happened, why it has not been fixed 6 months later and why they had not informed their customers. The guy couldn’t really answer but said to stop reinfection I should change my password, and write a complaint by email.

First I went to change my password and found that I was warned not to do that due to certificate issues as I logged in. I know that smartyhost have taken the thankfully unusual approach of signing their own certificate, but am unsure if this is the problem or they have further infections. Eventually I decided I was not game to do this.

Having had all these issues I sent what I think was a strongly worded but business like email to them asking for a response in 4 hours, which I think is reasonable especially as they have had 6 months to work up a stock reply. 6 hours later and no response.

The moral of this story is that Smartyhost does not seem able to cope in any way with this sort of issue and I would strongly advise you to think twice before using them. If you are already with them I would probably say change your passwords if you date and get out fast!

5 thoughts on “Smartyhost sucks”

  1. I won’t be using them anymore. Too many of my sites have been hacked at the server level and i’m not happy one bit.

    Not only that but their control panel is lousey and they don’t run cpanel or cron jobs

  2. I do have some good news on the Smartyhost front. MYOB bought Smartyhost a while back, and are more than aware of the issues both with the incorrect certificates and trojan problems.

    When I spoke to them they were very apologetic and had people in trying to fix up the problems.

    In the last week or so the ‘spanel’ has changed a bit (ok it needs to be changed a lot), they have changed everyones passwords which I believe is the start of changes to come.

    If you are running something that is business critical, I would say probably best move it just to be sure, and MYOB may well do you a deal to move over to them. If it is a personal thing, maybe hold off for a while and see how they go.

  3. I have had a nightmarish day trying to free this website from Smarty Host, I wonder what wouold happen if I put smarty host sucks into google and I arrived here. The issues with my clients site were similar, some sort of corruption so the site could not be accessed. My client gave up the mornings work to call them, the technician was not able to assist and would not allow her to speak to his manager. He promised if she sent an email to support they would responed within 2 hours. It is now 7 hours later and I am most disatisfied.

    1. I can sympathize with you. It sounds like you had the same customer service person I did! I ended up laughing at him as he refused to put me through to someone higher up.

      My advice would be to contact MYOB, there owners, and complain to them. After a lot if shouting I eventually got through to someone there who was very reasonable and was more than aware of the problems and consequences, which smartyhost did not seem to be. The head of marketing at smartyhost was quite reasonable too. I’ll try to find her name and email it to you.

      In the short term their advice which I believe is as good as it can be was to:-
      – Change all your passwords.
      – Re-upload your site, presuming you have a backup which if you use a CMS may not be so easy.

      In the longer term I would try to move your hosting as you can’t guarantee it will not happen again. If you aren’t limited to Australian hosting by SEO, Godaddy is great and cheap. If you are try to negotiate a deal to move your hosting from smartyhost to myob hosting or ilisys which are all in the same group (I think but myob has just changed hands).

      Hope this is of some help. I know how frustrating it can be trying to get through to their tech help.

  4. Hi Guys,

    I stayed clear of smarty host a long time ago friends had problems and they were very frustrated. I myself use a company called Digital Pacific for my hosting and have had no issues for over 3 years. Oh by the way their customer service is A1.

    My site is I design sites and demand the best in hosting.



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