SEXi Cyber Siege: PowerHost’s $140M Ransomware Nightmare Rocks Global Data Centers

Feeling held hostage by your hosting? IxMetro Powerhost’s servers got a sultry shakeup from the new ransomware gang, SEXi. With backups in bondage and a $140M Bitcoin bounty per victim, this cyber saga’s getting steamier than a data center in a heatwave. Stay tuned, it’s about to get SEXi.

Hot Take:

Oh no, not another one! Just when you thought it was safe to host a website, along comes SEXi, the ransomware that’s got a kink for VMware ESXi servers and a thirst for Bitcoin. With a name that’s probably meant to make you blush rather than scream in cyber-terror, these naughty cybercriminals are playing a high-stakes game of ‘encrypt em’ all and let the admins sort it out. And get this, they’re so fresh they haven’t even been properly sampled yet! That’s like being famous before your first album drops. IxMetro Powerhost, I feel for you, but maybe it’s time to rethink that ‘backup’ strategy, eh?

Key Points:

  • IxMetro Powerhost has been hit by the new ransomware gang SEXi, who have encrypted their servers and backups. It’s like a bad date that ends with your house getting TP’d.
  • PowerHost is a global player, with data centers strutting their stuff across the USA, South America, and Europe. International love has its downsides, folks.
  • The ransomware dubbed SEXi is fresher than a mint leaf, targeting victims since March 2023, and has a thing for VMware ESXi servers. Talk about having a type.
  • SEXi’s ransom note asks victims to get cozy on the Session messaging app. Like sliding into your DMs, but for ransomware.
  • The ransom demand? A cool two bitcoins per victim, which is apparently the new ‘dinner and a movie’ in the ransomware dating scene.

Need to know more?

Hot Mess at the Data Center

Imagine waking up on the weekend to a nightmare worse than your alarm clock on a Monday morning. This is what happened to IxMetro Powerhost when they discovered their VMware ESXi servers were more encrypted than an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph. And to add insult to injury, their backups were also in cyber shackles. Customers are left webless, as the company tries to untangle the digital Gordian knot to restore terabytes of data.

Apology Tour 2023

In the latest chart-topping hit of corporate apologies, PowerHost is crooning "I'm sorry" to its customers with a side note that their servers may be gone with the wind. But hey, they're not heartless—they're offering to set up new VPSs for those with their website content still intact. It's like getting a band-aid after a shark bite, but it's something.

New Kid on the Block

It seems the ransomware scene has a hot new artist, and it's SEXi. This brazen newcomer, as analyzed by a cybersecurity virtuoso named Germán Fernández, slaps a .SEXi extension on files and leaves a love note called SEXi.txt. No samples of their work have been found yet, but they're clearly making a splash with their targeted VMware ESXi server serenade.

Playing Hard to Get

SEXi's ransom notes are the digital equivalent of "U up?" texts, directing victims to the Session messaging app for a not-so-romantic chat about Bitcoin. There's nothing bespoke about these notes; every victim gets the same pick-up line. It's like getting a mass-produced Valentine's card—impersonal and kind of sad.

The Price of Love

When it comes to ransom, SEXi doesn't do dinner dates—they want two bitcoins per victim. In a world where cybercriminals are the new suitors, PowerHost's CEO estimated that this would amount to a staggering $140 million. That's not just breaking the bank; it's blowing it to smithereens.

There you have it, folks. In the digital age, even ransomware can have a sultry name like SEXi. But don't let the name fool you; this is one courtship you'd rather swipe left on. Stay tuned for the next cybersecurity soap opera, because something tells me there's more drama on the horizon than in an entire season of reality TV.

Tags: Bitcoin ransom, Cyber Extortion, data encryption, ransomware attack, SEXi ransomware gang, virtual private servers, VMware ESXi servers