A NASCAR team has admitted to paying hackers after several of its computers were infected with something called “ransomware,” The Register reports.
Ransomware affects a computer by locking a user out of their files, and hackers then demand a ransom payment in order to release the data.
Security firm Malwarebytes has published a blog post explaining what happened. Racing team Circle-Sport Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) had three computers affected with a type of ransomware called TeslaCrypt.
The data stored on the three computers was vital for an upcoming race, CSLFR explained.
“The data that they were threatening to take from us was priceless, we couldn’t go one day without it greatly impacting the team’s future success,” said CSLFR’s Dave Winston. “This was a completely foreign experience for all of us, and we had no idea what to do. What we did know was that if we didn’t get the files back, we would lose years worth of work, millions of dollars.”
CSLFR eventually paid the hackers in bitcoin in order to get their files back. The company says it’s now working with Malwarebytes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.