Realtime server status: Contabo-Status.com

Contabo Server Status

We are working continously hard to improve the infrastructure of our data center although it is already very reliable. Furthermore, we have a lot of control mechanisms which are detecting problems even before they might have an effect at all.
However, despite these security mechanisms we can not entirely eliminate the risk of short temporary interferences. A data center with an availability of 100,00 % within a timeframe of several years simply doesn't exist.

Therefore, we have just released our new website http://www.contabo-status.com. On this new website we will inform you about interruptions in our data center in realtime. Following this website would ensure that you will get informed und updated in case there is any kind of general issue which also might have an effect on your server.

Even though you probably won't need this website very soon - hopefully never - we recommend you to bookmark http://www.contabo-status.com right away. In case of doubt you will then be informed about the current status and progress with regard to your server without a delay.


From Squeeze to Wheezy like a breeze!!!

Upgrading Debian 6.0 to 7.0


With the release of Debian 7.0 there are two ways that you can have this distribution installed on your VPS or Dedicated servers.

One is the clean installation, this could be done using our customer control panel. This is a complete re-installation, so you will loose all your data. This method is recommended as it will freshly install a clean distribution.

But if your system is not that critical, or if you have somehow a 'clean' system, which means that you have installed software only using package management tools, you have not manually 'tweaked' anything or if you have not installed any additional software using .tar, then you can proceed with the following instructions to upgrade from Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) to Debian 7.0 (Wheeze).

Before we begin a word of caution :  Though we have tested this on a test server here at our Contabo labs, and everything seem to work without any problem, we highly recommend you to create a backup and store it remotely before you begin, just in case.

Complete official instruction to upgrade can be found here.

Bringing your current Debian 6 up-to-date:

Before beginning it is a good idea to ensure your current release is up to date. You can do it using the following commands:

Update and Upgrade

apt-get update

apt-get upgrade

Changing sources.list

Please open your favorite text editor to open /etc/apt/sources.list file

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

and change squeeze to wheezy, after the change my /etc/apt/sources.list file looks like this :

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian wheezy main non-free contrib
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian wheezy main non-free contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian wheezy-updates main contrib non-free


Upgrade the System

We follow the upgrade process in the following sequence according to the official how-to.

Update the sources

apt-get update


Minimal upgrade

apt-get upgrade

Upgrade the kernel
You can check the current installed version of your kernel using the following command :

dpkg -l | grep linux-image

my output was:

ii  linux-image-2.6-amd64                2.6.32+29                      Linux 2.6 for 64-bit PCs (meta-package)
ii  linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64           2.6.32-45                      Linux 2.6.32 for 64-bit PCs


Upgrading kernel :

apt-get install linux-image-2.6-amd64

next step would be to update grub to be sure that everything works as expected:


update udev

apt-get install udev


Final upgrade:

After all the above steps have been completed, we can upgrade the distribution:

apt-get dist-upgrade

Here you go – have fun with your new Debian 7.0 - you can check your version:

cat /etc/issue

Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 \n \l



WordPress Users – Your Admin Password May Get Stolen

Hackers Use Large Botnet To Gain Access.



If you are using WordPress, it would be a good idea to use a very strong password and make sure your username is not 'admin'.  There is a brute Force dictionary-based attack that aims to find the password for 'admin' account that every WordPress site sets up by default.

According to industry sources, this is a very well-organized and very distributed attack it is believes that around 90,000 IP addresses are currently involved. Successfully exploited sites get a backdoor installed that provides attackers with ongoing access to the WordPress site, regardless of whether a user subsequently changes the password guessed by attackers. Exploited sites are then used to scan for WordPress installations, and launch the same type of attack against those sites.

According to CloudFlare, the hackers control about 100,000 bots. The CloudFlare team believes that the attaker is currently using a network of relatively low-powered home PCs, but the aim is "to build a much larger botnet of beefy servers in prepration for a future attack". Home PCs can be the staging ground for a larger denial-of-service attack, but servers have access to far more bandwidth and can hence push out far larger amounts of traffic.

Some of the measures you could take to protect your WordPress sites are:

  1. Choose a very strong password - which is always a good idea.
  2. Change frequently used admin-level credentials
  3. Install a number of WordPress plugin like wp-fail2ban , Lockdown WP Adminbetter WP SecurityBulletProof Security or simply by hardening your WP   by providing access to the WordPress admin console, to approved IP addresses.
  4. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg notes in a blog post that changing your 'admin' username to something a bit more obscure may be your best defense given that the hackers have 90,000 IPs at their disposal.
Posted by: Tino | Filed under: General stuff No Comments

Price reduction: Internet bandwidth, now almost for free!

For hosting in a datacenter - or expressed in a more fashionable way - storing data in 'the cloud', there is one crucial factor:
A top quality, fast and secure Internet connection of the servers within the datacenter. Only this makes it possible to retrieve and make use of the data, stored and processed in the servers, in a way that makes sense, no matter where on earth the users are located.

Our customers around the globe appreciate the high quality level of the Internet connection in Contabo's datacenter, which is and has been guaranteed for a long time already, by the two worldwide leading "Tier 1" carriers Telia Sonera and Level 3, as well as by the glass fiber pioneering provider M-Net, who is presently supplying the city of Munich and its suburbs with glass fiber connections straight to the user.

We are now taking a further step ahead and are proving to our customers that even although quality has got its price, this price is incredibly low at Contabo. We do once again turn our business objective into reality: Providing the highest quality at the lowest prices, second to none.

Contabo data center

All that is made possible by the large volume of the contingent that we purchase for several thousands of dedicated and virtual servers:
As of today, you can obtain Internet bandwidth/traffic at Contabo, for nearly nothing.

1. New server upgrade: 1 Gbit/s bandwidth - without shaping, 24/7 guaranteed. Only 399.99 EUR / month!
By choosing this upgrade your server is being connected to a 1 Gbit/s (=1000 Mbit/s) dedicated switchport (non-shared) which reserves the whole bandwidth volume of 1 Gbit/s only for you. You are able to use the full 1 Gbit/s with both your upstream and your downstream - 24/7 without limitations, no port capping, etc. We do guarantee this bandwidth allocation to you exclusively, thus, you don't share this bandwidth with any other server. Even if you should use the whole bandwidth all the time, we will not throttle your serverport!

2. Price reduction for the server upgrade: 100 Mbit/s bandwidth without shaping, 24/7 guaranteed. Only 39.99 EUR / month!
By choosing this upgrade your server is being connected to a 100 Mbit/s dedicated switchport (non-shared) which reserves the whole bandwidth volume of 100 Mbit/s only for you. You are able to use the full 100 Mbit/s with both your upstream and your downstream - 24/7 without limitations, no port capping, etc. We do guarantee this bandwidth allocation to you exclusively, thus, you don't share this bandwidth with any other server. Even if you should use the whole bandwidth all the time, we will not throttle your serverport!

3. Price reduction for colocation bandwidth: Dedicated, non-shared bandwidth - without shaping, 24/7 guaranteed: 50% cheaper, no matter how much bandwidth you order!
With this bandwidth module, we offer you dedicated bandwidth, which is reserved for you entirely and can be used in full, all the time ('non-shared'). Both upstream and downstream are useable simultaneously exactly up to the number of mbit/s you chose to order. No restrictions. No traffic limit.
Moreover, you can define yourself whether you want to use the ordered bandwidth as a flat rate with a fixed price or whether you prefer the 95th percentile billing method, which allows to exceed the ordered number of Mbit/s if necessary.
In addition to that, you can connect any number of servers (housing modules) to this bandwidth module.
If you do not want to use your own router or BGP, we will manage switching and routing for you - without any extra costs.
Even when starting with only 10 Mbit/s, this module has an impressive price/performance-ratio. But as always: The higher your number of Mbit/s, the cheaper your price per Mbit/s will get.

4. Discount for colocation bandwidth: 100 Mbit/s shared port, now only 9.99 EUR / month!
100 Mbit/s port and unlimited traffic for your colo-server(s) at a reasonable price? No problem.
With this bandwidth module, your colocated server can be connected to our shared bandwidth pool using a 100 Mbit/s port. The traffic is unlimited, thus you can use as much bandwidth as you want.
If you have ordered a '1 server (rack/tower)' housing module together with this bandwidth module, for example, your entire colocation package is complete at only 39.98 EUR per month.

5. Improvement for all dedicated servers which have not been ordered along with the 'dedicated bandwidth - 24/7 guaranteed no shaping' (see above) upgrade:
You can now use (uninterruptedly and continuously) up to 60 Mbit/s on average. Your port will not be throttled.

6. Improvement for all VPS (virtual private servers):
You can now use (uninterruptedly and continuously) up to 40 Mbit/s on average. Your port will not be throttled.

The Internet connection of your server has never been so cheap before and never ever have you been able before, to run bandwidth-intensive applications and homepages so easily!

Pick the Contabo server of your choice right now and get started:



Contabo (formerly known as Giga-International) wishes you all a happy and healthy New Year.

Posted by: Katharina | Tagged as: , , , , 13 Comments

We’re getting into the Christmas spirit…

Since our Advent calendar is available, the Christmas fever has also reached our office.

Contabo Lounge











And those who have not seen it yet: Tommorow we open the first door of our online Advent calendar. Please have a look on our website and save money with our daily special offers.


Christmas can come 🙂



1.000 Facebook fans!!!

1000 Facebook Fans

Hey everyone! Today is the day we passed 1000 fans on our international Facebook page.

From myself and all of us at Giga-International, thank you all for your support over the past few years.
Thank you to all of our lovely fans for your comments and messages, we love to hear from you soon.
Thank you to everyone who shared our posts in social media or otherwise.

Now if each of our followers can just send me € 1,- I’ll be rich :-)!

Seriously though, it would be amazing to grow by 10x by next year. So please help us out by sharing our posts you like on Giga-International to help spread the word.

I really feel like Giga-International has the greatest fans and hope you guys will continue with us.

Stay tuned!

Posted by: Katharina | Tagged as: , , , No Comments

Making business with domains including typing-errors!

Lately I found an article in the "c't magazine" with the title „Abfischen unerwünscht“ (in english: "undesired dry fish"). It´s about the possible judicial repercussion of „typosquatting”.

A “typosquatting” also called as URL-highjacking is a form of cybersquatting and possibly brandjacking which relies on mistakes such as typological errors made by internet users when inputing a website address into a web browser. Should an user accidentally enter an incorrect address, he may be led to an alternative website owned by a cybersquatter (also known as domain squatter).

Generally there are a few different ways possible:
1. The owner of a website saves beside the „real“ domain other domains with typing mistakes, but links it to the original domain.
2. Somebody buys a typing-error-domain to sell it the real company.
3. Somebody buys a typing-error-domain to profit from the huge number of visitors of the website.

But be careful regarding the last topic. You easily violate the trademark or competition law or the right to a name. If you can´t for example clearly differ the domain from the original domain, the company could sue for deformation.
So the new thing is, that you also violate the law, even if you´re not in direct competition, but take advantage of the „real“ domain and as a result get a financial gain with advertising and forwarding people to other homepages.
The reason is quiet simple: the owner of the real domain fears, the internet user doesn´t make himself responsible for the fault and is so angry about being at the wrong page, that he decides to rather order at the competitor’s page.

--------------------- The same text in german / Der gleiche Text auf deutsch -------------------

Das Geschäft mit Tippfehler-Domains

Letztens bin ich im "c't Magazin" über einen Artikel gestolpert. Titel: „Abfischen unerwünscht“. Es ging um mögliche rechtliche Folgen von „Typosquatting“, d.h. wenn man versucht, sich einen Vorteil zu verschaffen, indem man hofft, dass der Besucher sich beim Eingeben einer bestimmten Domain vertippt.

Generell gibt es da mehrere Möglichkeiten:
1. Der Website-Inhaber sichert sich neben der „echten“ Domain noch weitere Domains, die Tippfehler enthalten und schickt den User auf die eigentliche Seite.
2. Jemand kauft eine Tippfehler-Domain, um sie dem ursprünglichen Unternehmen weiter zu verkaufen.
3. Jemand kauft eine Tippfehler-Domain, um von der großen Besucherzahl einer vielgeklickten Webseite zu profitieren.

Aber gerade beim Letzteren ist Vorsicht geboten. Da ist schnell mal gegen das Namens-, Marken- oder Wettbewerbsrecht verstoßen. Wenn z.B. die Domain nicht eindeutig von der Original-Domain unterscheidbar ist, kann das Unternehmen auf Rufschädigung plädieren.

Neu ist jetzt, dass man auch gegen das UWG (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb) verstößt, selbst wenn man keine direkte Konkurrenz darstellt, aber durch die Bekanntheit der „echten“ Domain und die daraus folgenden Besucherzahlen, mit Werbung oder Weiterleitung profitiert.
Der Grund dafür ist, dass die Seitenbetreiber befürchten, dass der User den Fehler nicht bei sich sieht und sich so darüber ärgert, auf einer anderen Seite gelandet zu sein, dass er zur Konkurrenz wechselt.

Quelle: c't Magazin für Computer und Technik, Ausgabe 17,  Seite 150 ff.


Show your appreciation!

Today is „System Administrator Appreciation Day“ – for already the 13th time we celebrate the annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

But what does it mean?
On this special international day, give your system administrators something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication.
All IT users are invited to express their thanks to his or her system administrator, no matter how.
Bring him/her a coffee, flowers or something to pimp his computer – or just say “thank you”:-).

At this point I want to say thank you of course to our admins who keep our systems as reliable and available as those running within the data center!
You are great! And that’s the reason why all employees of Giga-International are going out for lunch together – of course on company expenses.


--------------------- The same text in german / Der gleiche Text auf deutsch -------------------

Heute, am 27.7. 2012, wird bereits zum dreizehnten Mal der “System Administrator Appreciation Day“ gefeiert.

Aber worum handelt es sich dabei genau?
An diesem internationalen Gedenktag geht es darum, deinem System Administrator deines Vertrauens Anerkennung in Bezug auf seine tägliche harte Arbeit und Engagement zu zeigen.
Alle IT-User sind heute dazu eingeladen, ihrem Dank gegenüber dem System Administrator Ausdruck zu verleihen, egal auf welche Art und Weise. Bring ihm/ihr einen Kaffee, Blumen oder etwas, womit er seinen Computer aufpimpen kann; oder sag einfach nur Dankeschön. Eurer Kreativität sind keine Grenzen gesetzt.

An dieser Stelle möchte ich auch unseren System-Administratoren Danke sagen: Herzlichen Dank – ihr seid großartig! Und als Dankeschön, um euch gebührend zu feiern, gehen wir heute alle gemeinsam zum Italiener Mittagessen – natürlich auf Firmenkosten :-).


We love bad weather!

Best conditions for staying at home, hiding yourself behind the computer, doing some programming stuff and not having a bad conscience staying at home when the weather is good and the sun is shining.
Just making the best of it...

Wir lassen uns unsere Laune vom schlechten Wetter nicht vermiesen! Denn so kann man ohne schlechtem Gewissen zu Hause bleiben, sich hinter dem Computer verschanzen und sich den ganzen Tag unserer Lieblingsbeschäftigung, dem Programmieren, widmen.

Posted by: Katharina | Filed under: General stuff No Comments