Email security firm VFEmail had almost 20 years of email data destroyed by a hacker in one of the worst attacks to hit the email industry.
There was no ransom, the company said in a tweet earlier this week — “just attack and destroy.”
The firm “caught the perp in the middle of formatting the backup server, “ it said. But the damage was done.
“At this time, the attacker has formatted all the disks on every server,” VFEmail later tweeted. “Every VM is lost. Every file server is lost, every backup server is lost. NL was 100% hosted with a vastly smaller dataset. NL backups by the provider were intact, and service should be up there.”
In an update posted on its site today, VFEMail warns clients, “DO NOT CHANGE AN EXISTING ACCOUNT, YOU WILL SYNC WITH AN EMPTY MAILBOX AND LOSE YOUR LOCAL MAIL.”
The VFEmail home page says, “!!!ALERT!!!! Update Feb 11 2019 www.vfemail.net and mail.vfemail.net are currently unavailable in their prior form.
We have suffered catastrophic destruction at the hands of a hacker, last seen as firstname.lastname@example.org
This person has destroyed all data in the US, both primary and backup systems. We are working to recover what data we can.”
Company founder Rick Romero tweeted, “Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone. It will likely not return. I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they'd want to completely and thoroughly destroy it."
Another tweet from the 18 year-old company, apparently from Romero, said: “This is all I can do at this time. I will need to get into the data center to see if the one file server I caught during formatting can be recovered. If it can, we can restore mail, but most of the infrastructure is lost.”
On its site, VFEmail says it “scans each complete email, including attachments, for viruses and Spam before it gets to your INBOX.” The firm provides free and paid email services.