Friday, February 27, 2009

Russian hackers hold a casino site hostage!

An Costa Rican internet service provider's servers were recently taken hostage by an organized group of hackers located somewhere in Russia. The servers hosted internet gambling sites and despite all the precautions taken by the ISP, their 5 servers were comprimised and the hard drives encrypted, preventing any further revenue and a guaranteed quick business failure.

The Hackers kindly offered to unencrypt the server hard drives for an undisclosed amount of money (surprise!) and after exploring a few other options (I would too) the Casino owner decided to meet the ne'er do well'rs demands. The hackers did their part with the exception to the fifth server which held all the credit card numbers for the casino members. Apparently the hackers didn't read the encryption software instructions carefully enough and overlooked the required amount of hard disk space needed to encrypt the data! Get this...the hackers even spent about 8 hours trying to fix the problem! I wonder if they called tech support? They couldn't restore the 5th servers drives and I'd put money on it that they didn't apologize or offer a refund.

CBL, a Toronto based data recovery firm, recovered the data and the owner was back on a plane within 72 hours. Here's the video provided by CBL

Frankly I am amazed that an operation earning $135,000.00 per day doesn't have a better disaster recovery plan than the one that didn't work. On the other hand I see thsi quite often and most of the requests we get for backup are after a critical data loss event occurs,

Again, any backup is better than no backup at all and in this case I'm sure the casino is revising their disaster recovery plan to include a secondary server site or at least offsite data backup.

Remember to play the scenario to the end...what do you stand to lose if your Data suddenly becomes unavailable?

Here's the Video: