Rackspace outage ransomware
Rackspace Technology, one of the largest cloud and email hosting providers in the US, said Tuesday that a ransomware attack is to blame for a massive outage that has locked some customers out of their email inboxes since Friday.
Why this matters: The crisis offers a window into the hidden world of email hosting, where customers hand over their deepest electronic secrets to third-party cloud providers for storage and security.
- Potentially accessed data on Rackspace’s servers may include stored email messages and contact lists.
The big picture: A ransomware attack has left Rackspace scrambling to bring some of its hosting services back online and has left customers without access to their email inboxes over the weekend.
- Kevin Beaumont, a security researcher and former Microsoft employee, estimated in a recent blog post that thousands of small- to medium-sized businesses are affected by the outage. A handful of clients — ranging from investment firms to waste management facilities — are sharing on LinkedIn that their emails are still turned off because of the incident.
- Rackspace spokeswoman Natalie Silva declined to say how many customers were affected.
- Rackspace said in an SEC filing Tuesday that the attack “could result in loss of revenue” for its $30 million hosted exchange business as well as other “incremental costs.”
The details: Rackspace said Tuesday that it had hired a “leading cyber defense firm” to investigate the attack, but the company was “unable to provide a timeline for reinstatement.”
- The company has not disclosed how the hackers gained access to its systems, who is behind the attack or how much data they were able to access before deploying the ransomware.
- Rackspace has isolated the affected servers and is recommending that affected customers migrate their email servers to a Microsoft 365 cloud-based account, which “can be challenging,” the company said.
- Rackspace said customers can also set up email forwarding for new, incoming email to an external email address while they set up a Microsoft 365 account.
Between the lines: While Rackspace has promised to help customers install and configure Microsoft 365 accounts, customers have been flooding social media since the outage with lack of communication from the company and unanswered support tickets.