Racing website hacked; hackers demand bitcoins as ransom

Updated: 19 January, 2017 11:14 IST | Prakash Gosavi |

RacingPulse.in, a horse racing website operating out of Bangalore, was hacked on Tuesday evening

RacingPulse.in, a horse racing website operating out of Bangalore, was hacked on Tuesday evening. The hackers, in a statement posted on the website's home page, warned that all files on the website had been encrypted, and demanded ransom in bitcoins, the digital currency making news on the Internet.

"If you want to restore the files, you have to pay for the decryption in bitcoins," the notice posted on the RacingPulse.in homepage said, adding, "the price depends on how fast you write to us." An email address, registered at india.com was offered for communication.

Audacious

The hackers, in the same message, have offered information on "How to obtain Bitcoins". The step-by-step guide details which site to visit, how to register, buy bitcoins, and what payment method to use. To make things simpler, a link is also provided to the beginners' guide to Bitcoins.

To convince the victim website that they have the ability to decrypt the encrypted files, the hackers have, rather magnanimously, offered to decrypt up to three files (less than 10 MB in size) "free of charge".

They have also issued explicit warning against attempting to either rename the encrypted files or use of any third party software to wriggle out of this situation. Any attempts to decrypt the files with the help of third party software will have serious consequences, the hackers have warned, "(because) they add their fee to our price, or you may become a victim of a scam."

Server switch

"This is the third attack in a week on our website," Sharan Kumar, editor of the website, revealed when speaking to mid-day, "on the earlier two occasions, we used the back up files, and restored normalcy."

"Our servers are in the USA, but this shows that you are never fully safe on the Internet," Sharan Kumar added, "we have now decided to shift to another server in the hope of better security, it may take a day for the sight to be up and running."

First Published: 19 January, 2017 07:57 IST

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