On the eve of the start of the 100th-anniversary championship, the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) became the latest new victim of hackers, whose methodology is to seize sensitive information and ask for ransom in return. In this practice, it is widespread for cybercriminals to demand payments in Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies, in what is called a ransomware attack.
According to the specialized media, Golf Week, the attack was perpetrated on Wednesday, August 8th, when employees were unable to access the server. Instead, they received a message announcing the encryption of all files and threatening to make them unrecoverable from any attempt at decryption.
The attackers made it clear from the beginning that their target was Bitcoin (BTC) extortion
However, although the ransomware message includes the address of a Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, the hackers did not specify the amount of Bitcoin they wanted to get for unlocking the PGA servers.
However, according to an anonymous source, the Professional Golfers Association of America, the PGA, will not pay ransom for the archives, and that they took steps to ensure that the development of the anniversary championship won’t be impaired.
At the time of writing, no information has been released on the recovery of PGA servers or payment of the Bitcoin (BTC) ransom, the start of the PGA Championship 2018 tournament took place as usual.
Ransomware attacks involving cryptocurrency decline in popularity, while cryptojacking takes the lead
According to several studies carried out by various computer security companies worldwide, ransomware attacks involving cryptocurrency are declining in popularity, as the cybercriminals have gradually migrated to a more effective and lucrative business model, such as the use of hidden crypto mining malware. This method is known as cryptojacking and uses the computational power of victims’ devices to mine cryptocurrencies for the hackers.
A report released by Kaspersky Labs about a month ago confirmed the increase in cryptojacking attacks. Cybercriminals are developing increasingly sophisticated forms of crypto mining malware programs, using techniques such as file-free contamination or placing malware directly on routers.