According reports from Gizmodo, an email sent to House of Representatives staffers about ransomware. According to the email sent in late April by the House’s Technology Service Desk, there has been an increase in ransomware attacks sent through Gmail, YahooMail, and other public email services.
This ransomware mail is designed to lock individuals out of personal accounts and computer in exchange for a ransom.
According to a congressional staffer who spoke anonymously to Gizmodo, at least one of the ransomware attacks was successful. Once the computer was affected, House IT was able to remotely shut down the machine within 20 minutes. The staffer eventually had to reformat their computer.
U.S. House blocks Google-hosted apps, Yahoo Mail over security fears https://t.co/LavOPOnP8p
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 11, 2016
Recent reports from BBC news add, an unnamed House of Representatives employee has told Reuters devices connected to the internet via its wi-fi or ethernet cables have been barred from accessing appspot.com, the domain where Google hosts custom-built apps.
“We began blocking appspot.com on 3 May 3 in response to indicators that appspot.com was potentially still hosting a remote access Trojan named BLT that has been there since June 2015,” the news agency was told.
Reuters’ sources said the FBI had originally warned Congress of the potential vulnerabilities.
In response to the attacks, the House’s IT desk blocked access to YahooMail “Until further notice.” According to Reuters, A Google (GOOGL.O) official said the company was investigating reports of the restriction and would work with the House to resolve any issues. The FBI has so far not responded to a request for a comment. Yahoo (YHOO.O) is working closely with the House to resolve the matter, a company spokesperson said.