We have heard from a lot of our website owner customers that they have received these scam emails, and thought it would be useful to create this article to allay fears that these emails could be genuine…
The ransomware scam targets website contact forms. It sends an email to the site owner with the subject “Your Site Has Been Hacked.” The body of the email claims the hackers have exploited a vulnerability to gain access to the site’s database and “move the information to an offshore server.” The email threatens to ruin the site owner’s reputation by selling the site’s database, notifying customers that their information has been compromised, and de-indexing the site with search engines using blackhat techniques.
Within the past few weeks, website owners have reported having received this email on various support channels, including WordPress.org, stackoverflow, and reddit. The sites in question have not been defaced, nor do they show any other evidence of tampering.
The scammers send the email out indiscriminately, even targeting sites that do not have a database.
The Bitcoin Abuse Database advises visitors that extortion emails are 100% fake and those who receive them should not pay ransoms.
If you want to be extra cautious you can change your passwords and ensure your password is a strong one, at least 10 characters long. Otherwise, simply delete the email.