On April 30, 2010, our mail server's web interface, which included email configuration and webmail access was down for several hours due to an attack on the system by an outside source.

The attack began when a single user exploited a then-unknown security flaw in the mail server's PHP-based web configuration interface, which allowed exectution of scripts hosted on a remote server. The attacker, who was eventually traced to an ISP in Brazil, used this vulnerability to mass-mail almost 500 messages to Google's G-mail, Yahoo! Mail, and Microsoft's Live mail service.

The attack began at 14:46 Mountain time and lasted 5 minutes, at which point the server shut down the web service. The service remained offline until 17:10 while the flaw was assessed and repaired.

Timeline:

14:46 - Attack begins
14:51 - Mail server web services shut down
15:26 - Server logs assessed and problem identified
16:04 - Server rebooted and internal testing of security fix begins
17:10 - Public access to web mail services resumes

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