The PGA of America has apparently been hacked, and the hackers who infiltrated their server space have demanded a Bitcoin ransom.
According to Golfweek, an unknown group has broken into the PGA of America’s digital infrastructure, particularly graphics and artwork for the 2018 PGA Championship and 2018 Ryder Cup in France. PGA of America staffers were aware of the situation on Tuesday of PGA Championship week when they were locked out of files and were presented with this alert: “Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm [sic].”
Efforts to break the encryption may compromise things like promotional banners, logos and signage, meant for print and digital use. Some of the files relate to future PGA Championships as well. If the work and files can’t be recovered, it may be impossible to reproduce.
The hackers are seeking payment from the PGA of America, in the form of the digital currency Bitcoin, in exchange for a software product which would allow them to break the encryption. Bitcoin and similar digital-only currencies are preferred by hackers because transactions employing their blockchain technology are practically impossible to trace back to an individual.
Golfweek reports the PGA of America doesn’t plan to pay an unspecified ransom set by the hackers, and their internal IT staff are working to regain control of the corroded files.