Yesterday we got a spam contact form submission claiming our website had been hacked and demanding a ransom. It is part of what looks to be a new large wave of an ongoing spam campaign, which has been going on for at least several years. It is a hoax and websites receiving the message have not been hacked. This was the message we received:
PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO SOMEONE IN YOUR COMPANY WHO IS ALLOWED TO MAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS!
We have hacked your website https://www.whitefirdesign.com and extracted your databases.
How did this happen?
Our team has found a vulnerability within your site that we were able to exploit. After finding the vulnerability we were able to get your database credentials and extract your entire database and move the information to an offshore server.
What does this mean?
We will systematically go through a series of steps of totally damaging your reputation. First your database will be leaked or sold to the highest bidder which they will use with whatever their intentions are. Next if there are e-mails found they will be e-mailed that their information has been sold or leaked and your https://www.whitefirdesign.com was at fault thusly damaging your reputation and having angry customers/associates with whatever angry customers/associates do. Lastly any links that you have indexed in the search engines will be de-indexed based off of blackhat techniques that we used in the past to de-index our targets.
How do I stop this?
We are willing to refrain from destroying your site’s reputation for a small fee. The current fee is $2500 in bitcoins (BTC).
Please send the bitcoin to the following Bitcoin address (Copy and paste as it is case sensitive):
Once you have paid we will automatically get informed that it was your payment. Please note that you have to make payment within 7 days after receiving this e-mail or the database leak, e-mails dispatched, and de-index of your site WILL start!
How do I get Bitcoins?
You can easily buy bitcoins via several websites or even offline from a Bitcoin-ATM.
What if I don’t pay?
If you decide not to pay, we will start the attack at the indicated date and uphold it until you do, there’s no counter measure to this, you will only end up wasting more money trying to find a solution. We will completely destroy your reputation amongst google and your customers.
This is not a hoax, do not reply to this email, don’t try to reason or negotiate, we will not read any replies. Once you have paid we will stop what we were doing and you will never hear from us again!
Please note that Bitcoin is anonymous and no one will find out that you have complied.
In our case, it is rather obvious to be a false claim, since, among other things, the database for our website doesn’t contain any sensitive information that would be of any value to anyone or be a concern if it was released. Looking at the log for our website, the spammer only visited the contact page, which makes it more obvious that this is a hoax.
For others who don’t deal in security as we do, it is easy enough for someone to believe this could be true, but it is a hoax. Unfortunately, it looks like someone did fall for it.