PGA Championship, Ryder Cup Servers Hacked

Hackers have penetrated the PGA of America’s servers and are demanding a Bitcoin ransom in return for the unlocking of several crucial files now inaccessible to PGA officials, Golfweek.com’s Eamon Lynch reports

Files related to this week’s PGA Championship and next month’s Ryder Cup were targeted and locked by an encryption that the hackers say only they can fix. 

“Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm [sic],” a message read when the hacked files were attempted to be accessed. “This may lead to the impossibility of recovery of certain files.”

The files that were hacked were “creative materials” that included banners and logos that are being used and will be used in digital, print and signage promotions this week and in the coming month. Moreover, there were also creative files for future PGA of America events that Golfweek.com says would not be easily replicated. 

“We exclusively have decryption software for your situation,” the hackers wrote. “No decryption software is available in the public.”

Attached to the hack were a Bitcoin wallet number and an encrypted email address that the hackers said could be used to prove their decryption software would give the PGA of America their files back unharmed, ironically labeled as proof of “honest intentions” as those honest intentions are to extort the PGA.

Golfweek.com’s PGA source said that the organization has no intention of meeting the hackers’ demands. While both internal and external IT experts have been working on the hack since Tuesday, the PGA of America had yet to regain complete control over their servers or files as of Wednesday afternoon. 

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