Thursday 14 November 2019

A Ransomware Attack SmarterASP.NET Hosting Provider

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A Ransomware Attack that took place on the hosting provider SmarterASP.NET could have partially or fully impacted some or all of the 440,000 customers of the cloud-based data center services provider. Although the news is out that there was no impact on the customers on an official note, sources say that some customers of the company experienced downtime for a few hours as there were unable to access their critical data.

This California based hosting services provider claims that it has over 3 data centers located across the globe and so customers need not worry about their data as the backup services will be providing the data continuity service to them until the matter gets sorted out.

Ransomware is a mature, well-organized and extremely profitable business today. Its threat actors are divided into different and disciplined groups, each with a particular area of technical expertise. Some are searching for susceptible victims with vulnerable infrastructure, others are launching the attack, while programming teams are continuously perfecting the malware. Payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make these gangs virtually immune from prosecution by law enforcement agencies and allow them to operate in factual impunity. We will likely see growing sophistication of these attacks, eventually triggering a soar of paid ransom in absence of better choice to get data back.

It remains unclear whether the company is going to opt for a ransom payment to recover data or will restore the encrypted data with a backup copy. However, sources say that the company has been in business since 1999 and so is well qualified ‘technically’ to deal with such situations with ease. SmarterASP dot NET website was down since Friday night and came back to life early on Sunday. The Security teams of the company we’re working 24/7 to restore the data and make it available to the respective customers as early as possible.

Apparently, SmarterASP.NET failed to inform customers on the incident right away. On its live chat box page, the company did say it suffered from a major outage, but did not provide additional information.

On Sunday, the company revealed it had suffered a ransomware attack, and also noted that recovery efforts were well underway for all affected customers.

“Your hosting account was under attack and hackers have encrypted all your data. We are now working with security experts to try to decrypt your data and also to make sure this would never happen again,” the company said in a message on its website.

Although no information has been provided on the malware, screenshots posted online by some of the affected customers revealed that it had appended the extension .kjhbx to the encrypted files.

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