You read pretty much every day about some new virus, or a new attack against a person or company, but last week there was an attack against a company that can only be described as terrifying. The company attacked was Coventry (UK) based Svn hosting company CodeSpaces.
I read about this attack in The Hacker News. An attacker started a Distributed Denial of Service (DD0s) attack against the company, and also managed to gain access to their Amazon AWS and EC2 dashboard. The attacker then proceeded to hold them to ransom for a large fee to stop the DDos attack. The company, naturally, tried to regain control of their system and started changing passwords. When the attacker realised what they were doing, he started deleting all the companies data from the Amazon cloud servers, including all the backups.
“Code Spaces will not be able to operate beyond this point, the cost of resolving this issue to date and the expected cost of refunding customers who have been left without the service they paid for will put Code Spaces in an irreversible position both financially and in terms of ongoing credibility,” read the note. “As such at this point in time we have no alternative but to cease trading and concentrate on supporting our affected customers in exporting any remaining data they have left with us.”
The upshot of this is that it has put CodeSpaces in a stalemate position. A lot of their customers data has been permanently deleted, which means CodeSpaces can not continue to offer the service that their customers paid for. The company has been forced to close down.
This really is sad and tragic news because as well as the loss of data for their customers, which of course is very bad, this also has a human affect on the staff who work there as once they have finished trying to help customers access any data that is left, they will have to close their doors.
I will be following the fallout of this one carefully, and I really hope the relevant authorities manage to catch the person responsible. In this day and age, there are so many things that can go wrong for a small company, but going from being successful to wiped out overnight really is unthinkable. I hope in the aftermath of this, we get to learn some valuable lessons about exactly what happened.