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Staff of US Congress Bans Yahoo Mail as its Service Fails in Flagging the Attacks of Ransomware

Capitol Hill became the most recent victim of ransomware attacks. They were experiencing continuous click ads and pop-ups which allowed ransomware to open malicious files and gain control of the desktop. Gmail reported to the staff members that attacks were coming via Yahoo Mail.

Gizmodo report reveals that the support team delivered a notification to all staff members of the House during end of April saying that it has found a clear increase in such attempts to lock users out of their files via Web-based email services such as Yahoo Mail. Because of this, it has blocked the access to it till further notice.

A congressional staff claims that as a minimum, one of the ransomware attacks was successful. When the computer is infected, IT of the House was able to shut down the machine remotely within 20 minutes. Techstory .com posted on May 11th, 2016, stating that the staff ultimately had to reformat their computer.

According to staff, phishing emails are sent by the attackers claiming it from recognized persons. Both Gmail and Yahoo mail services are used by the attackers, but mainly Yahoo.

The emails carried malicious JavaScript files inside Zip file attachments, which are a known technique of infection, and this technique is used by several variants of ransomware and other kind of malware.

The staff of the House said that Yahoo Mailing service will continue to remain blocked till further notice. They also confirmed that modifications are also being done to prevent attacks in future.

Ransomware has also victimize water supply centers, hospitals, police centers, churches, schools, courthouses and different other institutions before affecting the House of representatives. In most of the cases, affected organisations had to pay ransom amount to get their infected computers unlocked.

Tech Desk of the House of Congress insisted staff and said, please contribute your share to help us to address the recent attack and guard House Network going forward by following correct cyber practices all the time. Phishing e-mails can appear as very genuine, and seem to be come from recognized sources. You should be very careful while clicking attachments or links enclosed in e-mails, especially at the time when you are not using e-mail systems of the House.

Locky is the most popular ransomware which uses malicious JavaScript files packed inside ZIP files and this ransomware is presently under cryptable.

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