Ransomware Attack Downs Hosting Service SmarterASP.NET

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The company allegedly has over 440,000 customers, which made it an attractive target for online criminals. After yesterday’s attack, SmarterASP.NET became the third major web hosting company to be hit by a hacking attack. As with others, hackers managed to breach the company’s defenses, seize its data, and encrypt it within the firm’s servers.

Those familiar with how ransomware works likely know that doing this makes data unreadable and useless to the firm. Of course, there is likely a decryption key that hackers possess, and that is able to neutralize the encryption. However, in order to provide it, hackers in these situations usually demand a large payment.

According to what is known right now, the company is currently working on restoring its servers. But, it is still unknown whether its officials decided to pay the ransom, or if they have backups which could be used for restoring their lost files. All that the firm has revealed so far is the hack itself, as they notified users on their website.The message simply says that the users’ hosting accounts are under attack and that all data was encrypted.

So far the company does not seem to have made much progress in the recovery process, as the number of users reporting that access to their accounts and data remains blocked, including files on their websites and back-end databases, it’s still large.

The incident has hit many of the users of this service very seriously, as most of them use SmarterASP.NET as a back end of web applications to synchronize or back up important information. According to web application security experts, since ransomware also affected these databases, it is impossible for website administrators to move their operations to an alternative IT implementation.

In the past few months, experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) reported the attack on two other major hosting companies. The first incident occurred at A2 Hosting in May, where hackers used the GlobeImposter ransomware. The next victim was iNSYNQ, which was infected last July with a variant of the MegaCortex ransomware, which prevented the proper functioning of the company’s systems for almost two months; recovery time for SmarterASP.NET is expected to be similar.

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