SEOUL, Jun. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean web hosting site Nayana Communication has struck a deal with ransomeware hackers to pay over 1 billion won to bail the company out of its predicament after losing access to data that hackers encrypted.
The South Korean web hosting provider released a statement yesterday, acknowledging a deal they made with the hackers on their temporary contingency website.
In the online statement, Nayana Communication said, “A deal has been reached and we have agreed to pay 1.3 billion won in return for a key that would allow us to restore all the data lost.
“The ransom money suggested by the hackers was raised thanks to another company that was previously interested in acquiring our company using our shares as security.”
Ransomware refers to a type of malicious software increasingly used by hackers, which encrypts valuable files so as to force victims to cough up a ransom in return for access to their files.
Nayana Communication was targeted last Saturday by another ransomeware attack using a software called Erebus, which saw more than 153 of some 300 Linux servers affected.
The collateral damage was felt on over 3,400 websites that were being operated in connection with the servers provided by Nayana Communication, including the official website of the leader of the Justice Party as well as that of the Korean Association for AIDS Prevention which has yet to be recovered.
The ransom money, which was set at 5 billion won at one point, was finalized at 1.3 billion won.
Some say, however, that the company’s decision to appease hackers could set a bad precedent for other victims to follow.
“When hackers grow a taste for money, they will increasingly target web hosting companies. Considering there is no guarantee for all data to be restored, (striking a deal with hackers) could lead to further damage,” one industry official warned.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)