I woke up in the morning. It was an ordinary day until I learned that our beloved Utopia Project website was hacked when I was sleeping. The hackers not only hacked the site but also deleted the past 7 days of work from our site. Our valued authors put countless hours of effort into their articles and all of that was gone in under a few hours. We were able to recover the site but the work is gone.
Fast forward today evening. One of our authors told me that the site is not working for him. I accessed the website around 30 minutes before that, so I was pretty sure it was just a network error from his end. Then more authors reported the same so I decided to have a look, and bam. We are hacked again. When I tried to log in to my admin account, I saw this:
The hackers were demanding a ransom. They sent a message to our site owner and the sole backer of the project, John Lambrechts. The message from the hackers is as follows,
“To recover your lost databases and avoid leaking it: visit http://hn4wg4o6s5nc7763.onion and enter your unique token a6f33b121 and pay the required amount of Bitcoin to get it back. Databases that we have: jog, uia_pd, oress, _prod. Your databases are downloaded and backed up on our servers. If we dont receive your payment in the next 9 Days, we will sell your database to the highest bidder or use them otherwise. To access this site you have use the tor browser https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html”
Our site owner, John, who is also a DevOps Engineer, was able to trace their location to Russia. This is very shameful and inhumane work. Our authors put countless hours of effort into their work. Also, some of our authors from underdeveloped countries were much dependent on the money they get from writing. For them, this incident means they will have a hard time financially and mentally when they get to know all of their drafts and published works are gone.
Whoever did this, please don't do it from next time. It can have bad impact on people's lives.