Jewish App Held Ransom

The three-month-old Azoi app, which teaches users how to do any Jewish activity, has fallen victim to a ransomware attack.

The three month old Azoi app has fallen victim to a ransomware attack. 

The Azoi app aims to teach users how to do any Jewish activity in a simple, clear and enjoyable manner. It offers step-by-step, DIY guides covering a broad range of Jewish activities.

Users have expressed much positive feedback and it has enjoyed a consistent increase of users.

Early Friday morning, after the app seemed to have stopped working, the development team found a threatening message in the backend server. 

Despite the security measures in place, unidentified hackers were able to remove the database from the server, demanding payment of a Bitcoin ransom in order to have the database returned.

Due to technical issues, the backup version of the database, designed for emergency situations like this, was not up to date. As a result, many weeks of work were lost. The estimated recovery time is still being assessed.

At the direction of the NYPD, a complaint has been filed with the FBI. 

It is hoped that Anti-semitism was not a motivating factor.

The not-for-profit start-up has performed impressively, despite their lean budget. However, this is a blow to their vision of creating a comprehensive, high-quality Jewish how-to resource, designed to make the experience of Judaism user-friendly, accessible and enjoyable.

Despite the challenges facing them, they tweeted the following statement on Friday: “As Jews, we have always known that challenges in general and in particular those that face our Jewish practice, cannot stand in the way of our commitment to Judaism. With G-d’s help, we will overcome this challenge and in fact, use it as a catalyst to attain greater achievements. We encourage all Jews to do an extra positive Jewish deed today; in doing so, adding holiness and positivity to our world.”

The app’s more than 3,000 users are not threatened by this attack.

As the team works to chart a recovery plan and a solution going forward, they are reaching out to the public for support. Suggestions can be sent to  Info@azoi.org and donations can be made at Azoi.org/donate.

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