PGA Championship Hit with Bitcoin Ransom Attack
According to , the PGA’s computer system suffered a security breach leaving some files inaccessible unless a Bitcoin ransom is paid. While viewers are glued to their screens, the PGA will be hard at work resolving the problem.
While the payment amount is unclear, the threat is not. Tuesday saw workers trying to access these files only to be met with the following message:
Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm [sic]. We exclusively have decryption software for your situation. No decryption software is available in the public.
While the hackers were kind enough to leave a wallet number and the promise of decrypting two files as a test, PGA officials have allegedly declined to pay the ransom.
No Fix in Sight
reported that the files affected were linked to promotional material such as banners and logos for both the PGA Championship and the upcoming Ryder Cup. While this may not necessarily affect the outcome of the tournament, it is a major inconvenience to technical staff, as well as those responsible for creating the material.
In order to try and salvage the files, the association has called on the assistance of an external IT team.
The PGA has made no public comment thus far as the issue is not yet resolved.
Not the First Bitcoin Ransom Requested
Ransomware attacks with Bitcoin as the preferred payment are, of course, not new to the industry. From hospitals to government agencies, a range of sectors and industries have been affected. Cryptocurrency critics might, therefore, get their pitchforks and torches ready to fight against the supposed threat of the digital currencies and the alleged complete anonymity that they provide.
Each Bitcoin transaction is traceable, immutable and ready to be viewed on a public ledger. Because of this traceability by the DEA, for example, authorities have been able to ascertain that while Bitcoin may have been the currency of choice for dodgy deals a few years ago, only 10 percent of its transactions this year have been linked to criminal activity.
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