Email Provider VFEmail Suffers 'Catastrophic' Hack

Email provider VFEmail revealed this week that it endured a major setback in which an unknown hacker gained access to its USA servers and proceeded to wipe years worth of data and backups within just a few hours.

Though it sounds like Romero was able to put an end to the attack, it was too little, too late for VFEmail's users.

The company's staff is now working to recover user emails, but as things stand right now, all data for United States customers appears to have been deleted for good and gone into /dev/null.

"At this time, the attacker has formatted all the disks on every server", the company said yesterday. "Just attack and destroy", he wrote.

"Every VM (virtual machine) is lost.Every file server is lost, every backup server is lost", the company reported on Twitter, later adding, "There was no ransom".

"At this time I am unsure of the status of existing mail for US users", Romero wrote.

Reached by KrebsOnSecurity on Tuesday morning, Romero said he was able to recover a backup drive hosted in The Netherlands, but that he fears all of the mail for U.S. users may be irreparably lost.

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The service, which aimed to offer users a better email experience by scanning messages and attachments for malware before they arrived in one's inbox, saw the beginning stages of its downfall on Monday, when Romero first noticed that several data centers were down. "If you reconnect your client to your new mailbox, all your local mail will be lost".

That was likely to be of little consolation to users of the service's infrastructure hosted in the U.S.; one business user told KrebsOnSecurity that 60,000 emails it had sent over the past decade were now missing.

US users accessing their respective VFEmail accounts will be greeted by empty inboxes.

"I haven't done much digging yet on the actors", he said. There definitely was something that somebody didn't want found.

In other instances, hacking groups with access to large botnets and capable of launching huge scale DDoS attacks will demand to be paid by companies which don't want to have their system disconnected from the Internet. "It will likely not return", Romero tweeted on Tuesday.

In June 2014, Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider Code Spaces was forced to shut down after hackers similarly breached its servers and wiped servers.

"After 17 years if I was planning to shut it down, it'd be shut down by me - not script kiddies", Romero wrote on December 8.

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