Officials at the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America will begin an investigation this weekend into how their computer network was compromised by a hacking gang demanding a ransom in Bitcoin.
The PGA has refused to comment on the cyber attack which crippled servers at its Palm Beach headquarters earlier this week and saw organisers locked out of vital files connected with the current PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club, St Louis, where Tiger Woods is playing. It is understood that documents related to upcoming Ryder Cup in France were also affected.
“This incident has rocked the PGA from top to bottom and they’re not taking it lightly,” a source told Coin Rivet.
“An investigation was called for by an emergency committee, and that investigation will begin tonight.”
It’s believed PGA chiefs have brought in cyber security and cryptocurrency experts to attempt to identify the culprits behind the ransom demands which were discovered on Tuesday.
A message read: “Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm.”
It warned that any attempt to bypass the encryption could “lead to the impossibility of recovery of certain files”.
The note also contained a scrambled email address and a Bitcoin wallet number where the hackers demanded a deposit of an unspecified amount of the leading cryptocurrency.
Internal IT experts at the PGA have been battling to overcome the attack since Tuesday evening but are, as yet, unable to regain control.
“There’s absolutely nothing they’ve been able to do to fix this problem and the IT teams are tearing their hair out,” the insider added.
“An investigation will hopefully figure out how a repeat of this attack can be avoided, but for now they’re pretty uptight about the possible problems this may cause for the Ryder Cup in Paris next month.”