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What is Bulletproof Hosting? And all you need to know about

To run any website we need a hosting server. Where we host our website data and from where our website goes live. Although we host our general blog sites and business sites on common hosting company servers, it is not possible to host all the content here. Because, every hosting company has its own terms and conditions and following which we have to work with them.

There may be many of us who have heard the name of general hosting, but still don’t know about Bulletproof Hosting. So, in today’s tune we will know about bulletproof hosting service. What is this hosting service and which people come and use this type of hosting, etc. in today’s tune.

What is hosting?

Before understanding what bulletproof hosting is, we need to know a little about regular hosting. Any regular website can be hosted through a regular hosting service. That is, we can easily buy a package from a hosting service provider, put all the files of our website there and make it live on the Internet. The purpose of keeping our website files on a hosting server is that they keep their computer running 24 hours a day so that anyone can access our website information at any time.

However, there are many popular hosting service providers nowadays and they control a huge amount of servers. They have to pay a certain amount to host our sites on these websites. Similar to us, various businesses, banks, social media platforms and other organizations host their websites on these servers.

We put the content of our websites on different hosting servers because we cannot keep our own computers running 24 hours a day. Although we can use our computer as a server for our website, but it will be very expensive. Also, due to our inexperience many times our computer can be cyber attacked and our data can be hacked. And from these problems, we basically leave the contents of our website on the server of a third party hosting company.

However, even if we buy hosting service from different companies and put our site there, there are some obligations here. And this obligation is that we cannot put any content on their servers as we wish. Even if we buy a specific space from their server, we cannot host any illegal website in that space. Each hosting service provider has certain rules, and you can keep your website on their server by following these rules.

What is Bulletproof Hosting?

Like other hosting services, Bulletproof Hosting also works to store a website or data. But it works a little differently than other hosting companies. Various cyber criminals use this special secure server known as Bulletproof Hosting. It goes without saying that this is a secure server system for cyber criminals. Now the question may come to your mind that if it is a place to store information or websites of cyber criminals, then why is the government not shutting down such servers? All these questions will be answered in today’s tune.

There’s a lot of amazing content out there that we consume online every day, but there’s also some terrible stuff. And these contents cause a lot of damage to us while surfing the internet. These bad contents on the internet include various spamming links, hacking content, malware and various viruses etc.

Although we have heard many times in various places, there are many terrible things on the Internet. However, finding them from where they are is not an easy task. They are out of our sight, but we do not know where they are.

Such bad content is stored using a special type of secure server known as bulletproof hosting. The types of hosting service providers we use to host our sites are a little different and they work differently. Companies offering Bulletproof Hosting Service provide more facilities in terms of uploading content to their servers. Any illegal website can be run using such hosting and such websites are protected here.

The general hosting service we use to run our website does not allow us to upload any content we want. Because, there are some terms and conditions for uploading content on their servers and you have to follow them to upload files on their servers. For example, if you use these common hosting services to operate a porn website or online gambling website, the hosting company has the right to terminate it at any time according to the laws of that country.

On the other hand, Bulletproof hosting services follow a somewhat lax policy in keeping data on their servers. That is, you can do the work without any hindrance in Bulletproof hosting service, which you would not get from a normal hosting service provider.

In this type of hosting arrangement, the hosting service provider will not say anything about what kind of content you have uploaded to their servers. Here they will only do the work of uploading your data to the server without taking any responsibility from you.

However, now you probably understand what bulletproof hosting is and why such hosting is used.

Where are the servers of Bulletproof Hosting Service located?

Bulletproof hosting services are available in almost all countries of the world. However, there is no specific list of countries where Bulletproof Hosting Service is available.

However, the general consensus is that the majority of such services are usually located in countries such as China, Russia and former-Soviet states (eg Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova). Other European countries, Asia, South America and some North American countries also have such services.

Basically Bulletproof hosting services are set up in countries where laws are usually lax. That is, such servers are set up in those countries where there is no strict legal system in the management of such servers.

It goes without saying that countries like the US and Europe won’t offer bulletproof hosting services. McColo was once one of the most bulletproof hosting services in the world. And this hosting company was also controlled from USA. However, we will discuss McColo Bulletproof hosting in detail below.

San Jose also hosted a similarly secretive 3FN. And which was hosted for child pornography, malware and spam email servers. WikiLeaks, on the other hand, regularly hosted its servers on several secure servers located in Europe and Russia. And the reason for this is security and DDoS protection.

Although managing these hosting services is not an easy matter. They are a highly organized cybercrime service. For example, some places are better for hosting certain content.

Let’s say that you want to host a malware using Bulletproof Hosting Service. Now you contact a bulletproof hosting service provider for that purpose, so that they allow you to host your written malware on their server. And that’s why you say you want to host your malware in the Netherlands (because of high connectivity and location service). But in this case, the service provider may tell you that you will get better benefits in Ukraine; Because the local laws are very relaxed in this regard and that is why you don’t have to go through the trouble of physically shutting down those servers.

Basically, a bullet proof hosting service provider will take great interest in you conducting business using their services and they work to ensure the safest fastest and best connectivity for the customers.

About downgrading Bulletproof Hosting

The main goal of a bullet proof hosting service is to stay completely secure online. That is, where I will host my website data, so that there is no accountability. And from there my data should not be deleted in any way. The job of this hosting service is to keep the client’s credentials and data intact in case law enforcement agencies come calling. Dhia Mahjoub, a principal engineer at OpenDNS Research, explained more about this at USENIX Enigma 2017.

He said that jurisdictional issues are a big challenge in this process. Hosters have little incentive to make changes to their service. If they take down some content while using their service, it will affect their business.

Now let’s talk about the bulletproof hosting service called MaColo.


Although Bulletproof Hosting takedowns or shutdowns are not common, they do happen. MaColo is one of the most well-known service takedowns in recent times, although it happened about 13-14 years ago. MaColo was a hub for Scammer, Malware operators, Carders, Botnet command and other such bad services. Basically such services were managed from this server.

It was a US based web hosting service provider. And it has long been associated with the world’s spam activities. But after extensive discussions, this company was closed around 2008. Because a significant amount of malware and bot-nets were being operated by these bulletproof hosting service providers and from their servers.

MaColo was created by a Russian nineteen-year-old hacker and student named Nikolai.

In 2008, when it shut down its upstream service, it was determined that customers using MaColo’s service were responsible for a significant portion of email spam. That is, most of the email spammers are conducting their work using MaColo service. However, this idea later turned out to be true.

When the company was later shut down, the world’s spam traffic dropped by 50 to 75 percent. It was one of the market leaders in so called bulletproof hosting services. And when it is shut down, millions of zombie computers are instantly disconnected from their control servers and their operations become ineffective.

After shutting down their servers, the rate of worldwide malware attacks, ranging from spam emails, also dropped surprisingly. And those spammers who hosted their services on MaColo’s servers lost their entire spam email list.

Bulletproof hosting isn’t easy to take down

Formulating a take down of a bulletproof hosting service is not easy. Only MaColo had to be shut down after a long investigation by various security researchers and law enforcement agencies. If it were easy to shut down a Bulletproof Service, a country’s government would fax a shutdown notice to that country. But, this matter is not so simple.

Shutting down a single bulletproof hosting service requires a coordinated effort between numerous parties. In Dhia Mahjoub’s talk at USENIX, the complexity of Prochester’s ability to shut down bulletproof hosting services on foreign soil was discussed.

Sometimes law enforcement agencies can’t shut down bulletproof-hosting services. Because other countries have complicated registration structures and mirroring services.

The opportunistic nature of bulletproof hosting services usually prolongs this process. And these service providers always have a strategy. And that is, if there is any danger, then they ask their customers to transfer their data to another bulletproof server. Since, such servers have a lot of investigation to prove the crime, during this time they notify the customers and may give them a few days to transfer their data.

And as a result, the data on that Bulletproof Hosting server remains intact and they are managed again from another Bulletproof server later. So, even if a Bulletproof Hosting Server is shut down, the previous data on that server is transferred to another server.

Legitimate hosting companies also host bad stuff

All of the things I discussed above may have given you a bad idea about Bulletproof Hosting. However, Bulletproof Hosting Services are not the only ones that host these dark or evil things on the internet. And in our case, it would be wrong to say that Bulletproof Hosting is responsible for this. Rather, the common hosting companies we see also host bad stuff on their servers.

According to a 2017 report, an average of 1.385 million new phishing sites are created every month worldwide. But, surprisingly, they don’t use bulletproof hosting services to build all these websites. Rather, all these websites are managed by the servers of all the popular hosting service providers we have seen. Phishing sites are also hosted by regular hosting services such as GoDaddy, 1and1 Web hosting and Digital Ocean.

However, now you understand how worrying it is for us. As we know that, every hosting service provider has a set of terms and conditions that customers have to follow. For example: no harmful or dangerous content can be hosted using their services. If in any way someone acts outside of this, then if they are informed then action will be taken against that customer or they will take action against it themselves.

The InfoSec Guy blog details a few phishing sites operated by GoDaddy in one of their tunes. In which, they list several phishing websites, all of which are hosted using GoDaddy’s hosting. But, they did not take any action regarding these websites.

Similarly, if you search online by typing “How to set up automated phishing emails using a Digital Ocean VPS”, you will find many tutorials available. In other words, phishing email sites can still be operated using legitimate hosting and such hosting service providers do not seem to take any action against them. And for this their business thinking can be one of the reasons.

Termination of Bulletproof Hosting Service

Even if one is given, it may not normally close. Because there are many such precedents. A concerted effort can truly take down or stop a service. And as we see, when the authorities say, changing hosting is a relatively easy process.

Termination of a bulletproof hosting service usually does not terminate the existence of that operator or customers, unless the servers are physically seized and destroyed. That is, in order to remove all criminal content from such hosting, law enforcement agencies must personally attend and destroy those servers.

If we look at an example of this, the matter will be clearer. The infamous Russian business network (RBN) was thought to have ceased operations for a long time. But they are operating similar scams, botnets and malicious content across the border in eastern Ukraine and Moldova. However, there are some legitimate hostings out there as well.

Any highly sensitive data is hosted using these bulletproof hosting servers, so that no customer data is lost through government agencies and business counterparts.

However, using Bulletproof Hosting Service is not illegal. However, I would advise you not to use such hosting services for general blog sites. Because, you can get the same service from a regular hosting provider for running your normal blog site or e-commerce website. In this case you don’t have to go for bulletproof hosting for extra security. However, you must not try to use free web hosting services or cheap hosting services when you are building your new website. This, in turn, may adversely affect your website.

When you create your first site, definitely buy web hosting from a popular and trusted company. This way, you don’t have to worry about website security and website performance. On the other hand, low-cost web hosting or free web hosting can often bring your site down, which can later affect your income.

last word

Bulletproof hosting is mainly used for security and various criminal activities instead of regular hosting. Apart from criminal activities, such hosting can also be used for greater security. However, we notice that many phishing websites are created using the services of popular legitimate hosting service providers and no action is taken against them.

However, Bulletproof Web Hosting is always considered the best space for cyber criminals. And that’s why they use this kind of web tuning more.


As the author of Logic Lens News, I am passionate about delivering the latest updates and trends in technology, business, and finance. I strive to provide insightful tips and analyses that empower readers to stay informed and ahead in today's dynamic world.

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