If you use your email client of choice for particularly important correspondence -- perhaps for business or private conversations -- you'd probably be pretty shocked to wake up one day only to find that its servers have been completely wiped out.
Unfortunately for users of VFEmail, that's precisely what happened on Monday. As spotted by Ars Technica, VFEmail owner Rick Romero recently found evidence that a hacker was attempting to systematically destroy his service's hard drives - backups and redundancies included.
Though it sounds like Romero was able to put an end to the attack, it was too little, too late for VFEmail's users. According to an official notification posted on the email provider's website, "all data" in their US servers has been completely wiped out, and it's seemingly beyond recovery.
"Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone. I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they'd want to completely and thoroughly destroy it."
"Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone," Romero wrote in a tweet. "I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they'd want to completely and thoroughly destroy it."
Romero says the person, who used the IP of "firstname.lastname@example.org," was most likely using a virtual machine and multiple means of access to carry out the attack - no one method of protection, such as 2-factor authentication, would have protected VFEmail from the assault.
Unfortunately, the attacker's motivations are unknown. The individual did not ask for a ransom, nor do they seem to be taking any sort of moral stance against VFEmail.