APF and BFD – Products to avoid
When securing a web hosting server a Firewall and Brute Force Detection protection are critical pieces a server admin needs to look at. Two products were recommended by us in the past, but we have several reasons to step away from these recommendations. Security is an evolving topic and what is secure today might be at risk tomorrow if security does not grow with the risks out there on the Internet. APF (Firewall) and BFD (Brute Force Detection) are no longer maintained and updated in a way that a business can rely on these products. There are newer threats out on the Internet that require that a firewall and brute force detection tool need to grow with in regards to recognizing the signatures of these threats and to protect a server. That is no longer given with APF and BFD of RFXNetworks.
A second reason is that the owner of RFXNetworks seems to have a financial problem. Several cases have appeared on different web hosting related websites on the Internet where server owners paid for services to be provided by Ryan MacDonald of RFXNetworks. The problem is that Ryan MacDonald (Montreal, Canada) happily accepted the money (paid via PayPal), but never contacted the customers to provide the work. From our understanding several people filed appeals with PayPal, just to lose out due to PayPal’s policies in regards to intangible products which makes it easy for thieves like Ryan MacDonald of RFXNetworks.
We did order services as well (before knowing about the criminal activity of Ryan MacDonald) and are at the edge of losing our money. You might think that this posting is made to make Ryan look bad, but we provide information for web hosting businesses. We consider it important for web hosts or web hosts to be, to be aware of what is going on and eventually to avoid losing good money to a provider gone bad.
If you have become victim of RFXNetworks criminal activities you can try to recover your money by using the small claims court system in Quebec, Canada. The problem is that you have to do this in person or send a friend. If you are a business you have to send the officer of a company or the employee who worked the issue. And that seems to be a reason that makes Ryan MacDonald believe he can run with the money, because it will be difficult for any person or company to justify the additional expense for a trip to Montreal to fight for small amounts like $90.00 or so. So, unless somebody in Montreal either steps up to present the case in court or orders the services and gets scammed, Ryan is kinda safe. We highly recommend to do a Google search for RFXNetworks or to visit websites like Webhostingtalk.com to find out more about RFXNetworks and Ryan MacDonald. The praise was valid in the past, but a vendor who scams customers loses his reputation and does no longer deserve any trust.
The good thing is that there are other tools available that a) easily replace APF and BFD and b) that are supported as well. The Web Hosting Resource Kit recommends CSF and LFD of Configserver.com