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PGA hacked, bitcoin ransom sought for return of files

ST. LOUIS – Disturbing news Wednesday night from the PGA, as Golfweek is reporting that PGA servers have been hacked. The published report says PGA servers were attacked earlier this week, with staffers discovering their systems compromised on Tuesday, as workers tried to access files related to the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club and the upcoming Ryder Cup in France.

According to the report, when staffers tried to access files a message was generated stating: “Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm [sic].”

The message further stated that any attempted to break the encryption would cause the loss of the data and any possibility of recovering of the files.

The files in question contained material for this week’s PGA Championship and Ryder Cup promotional banners, logos for print and digital communications.

The message included a Bitcoin wallet number for the PGA to pay a ransom but did not ask for a specific amount.  Bitcoin wallets can’t be traced to an individual or entity or used to identify suspects.

In the meantime, the PGA and IT experts are addressing the problem, but have yet to regain control of the files.

It’s unclear if the hack has or will affect the PGA Championship.

A spokesperson for the PGA of America declined to comment on the hacking.