In 2001 I paid $14.99 for a lifetime account at VFEmail. I used it as my primary email host for a short time, as it was a pretty inexpensive IMAP email host back in the days when getting IMAP support outside of college or corporate email systems was quite rare. I stopped using it because it would go down from time to time, which is frustrating. I now use it only to get status emails sent by my home server (FreeNAS), which are relatively unimportant and anonymous. I keep thinking about using it more, because I love pure IMAP email, but now I am glad I did not.
I saw today that mail could not be fetched, and I found out that VFEmail was hacked, and everything for its US customers (including me, of course) has been destroyed. This is the message on the home page right now:
!!!ALERT!!!! Update Feb 11 2019 www.vfemail.net and mail.vfemail.net are currently unavailable. We have suffered catastrophic destruction at the hands of a hacker, last seen as firstname.lastname@example.org This person has destroyed all data in the US, both primary and backup systems. We are working to recover what data we can.
That is just devastating. Fortunately for me, I am not very much affected by the data loss, but I wonder how the other customers must feel.
VFEmail is a very small company. Originally it was just one guy. I feel really bad for him (or them, or whoever is running it now). I hope it can recover.