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The PGA just got hit with ransomware

This club was built for mining.
Image: Sam Greenwood/getty

Raise that single gloved-hand to your mouth in shock: The hackers have gone after golf.

America’s last bastion of proud visor-wearers is scrambling this week, after unknown criminals took over the PGA of America’s servers on Tuesday — locking the golf association out of its files just days before the official Aug. 9 start of the PGA Championship in Missouri. And you better believe those hackers want bitcoin

That’s right, the PGA was hit with ransomware

So reports Golfweek, which notes that the now-encrypted files include “extensive promotional banners and logos used in digital and print communications,” in addition to “development work on logos for future PGA Championships.”

And if the PGA wants to regain access to that data? A bitcoin address was reportedly provided to facilitate a cryptocurrency payment, but, strangely, Golfweek says no specific ransom amount was requested. 

“Your network has been penetrated,” read the ransom note according to Golfweek. “All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm [sic].”

I can almost see the bitcoin.

Image: Sam Greenwood/Getty

Mashable reached out to the PGA of America in an attempt to determine if the organization has had any further contact with the hackers, as well as if it had determined a bitcoin ransom price, but received no response as of press time. 

But you would be remiss to mistake the quiet calm so associated with the golf course for a lack of determined resolve. Golfweek, which communicated with an inside source who demanded anonymity, says that the PGA has no intention of paying up. Instead, the organization is reportedly bringing in outside experts to clean up the mess. 

And, well, there might be a lot of mess to clean up. If done correctly, ransomware renders encrypted files permanently inaccessible without the necessary decryption key. Then again, it’s not always done correctly. 

Regardless, the tournament is slated to continue on schedule. It would seem that encryption doesn’t affect golf balls. Sand traps, on the other hand…

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/08/08/bitcoin-ransomware-pga-america-golf/

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