Ransomware infects popular web-hosting provider SmarterASP

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A ransomware attack has hit SmarterASP.NET, a popular web-hosting provider, forcing the websites of an unspecified number of customers offline.

“Your hosting account was under attack and hackers have encrypted all your data,” SmarterASP.NET, which claims over 440,000 customers, said Monday in a message on its website. “We are now working with security experts to try to decrypt your data and also to make sure this would never happen again.”

For relatively cheap, SmarterASP.NET lets organizations or individuals host an unlimited number of websites per month. That makes SmarterASP.NET an attractive target for a ransomware-slinging attacker looking to hit a range of victims.

The ransomware attack was an unwelcome disruption for a company that markets itself on keeping sites online. Throughout the day Monday, SmarterASP.NET posted updates to its Facebook page saying that customer accounts locked by the ransomware were gradually being decrypted and restored. Some customers thanked SmarterASP.NET for getting their websites back online, while others complained their sites were still offline. One user asked if the hackers would be brought to justice.

A phone call to SmarterASP.NET for comment did not go through due to the high volume of calls the company was receiving.

This is the third web-hosting provider to be struck by ransomware this year, ZDNet reported.