The email service suffered a cyberattack that resulted in a massive data loss
VFEmail, the email service provider specializing in users’ privacy, suffered a critical hack in recent days; according to network security and ethical hacking experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security, all the information stored by the company has been destroyed, including the backup servers and virtual machines.
In the words of the service owner, the attackers left no ransom note, so there was no opportunity to negotiate a payment. Due to this cyberattack scope, it is speculated that VFEmail will close definitively. “Yes, VFEmail is in fact offline. It probably won’t come back. I never thought anyone would mind my work so much as to destroy it completely,” the owner posted on his Twitter account (@Havokmon).
According to network security specialists, the VFEmail started to think of the worst scenarios soon after the incident was detected: “This doesn’t look good. All the external systems in different data centers have collapsed”, the company mentioned via Twitter. VFEmail even managed to detect hackers while formatting their backup servers.
A few hours later the service posted on Twitter that the attackers could have managed to format all the disks on all their servers, as well as eliminate their virtual machines. Although the VFEmail virtual machines did not contain the same authentication as the servers, hackers managed to compromise the entire infrastructure of VFEmail, destroying anything in their path.
VFEmail administrators have launched some security alerts for service users through its website. According to network security specialists, VFEmail warns that “if users have their own email client they should refrain from trying to reconnect it. Otherwise, all of the user’s local mail will be lost.”
Although the email servers are one of the most frequent victims of cyberattacks, this seems to be the first case in which the attackers completely wipe victim’s information without even giving them the opportunity to pay a ransom, in other cases of cyberattacks against email services, hackers with access to large botnets demand a ransom to the companies.
The owner of the service eventually added, “I don’t know the exact reason why this level of attack was executed against VFEmail, although I do have some theories in mind. I have heard some rumors about groups of hackers, political dissidents, activists and even traffickers who used our platform; for many of these people it might be convenient for this information to be lost,” the owner mentioned.
Finally, when questioned about the possibility of putting the service online again, the owner commented: “For the moment I’m aiming to not rehabilitate the service. There was a lot of custom code that had to be rewritten; besides that VFEmail was never profitable, because we never entered into practices such as selling personal information or publishing ads directed to users”.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.