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Congress Blocks YahooMail

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Well, if you thought Congress was basically just a bunch of old men who had no idea how technology works, well here’s a story for you. As it turns out, at the end of April the House Technology Service Desk (House IT) sent an email out to House of Representatives staffers warning them about ransomware where hackers encrypt files and demand payment in Bitcoins to get a key to unlock them. Apparently, there’s being an increase in attacks through public email services like Gmail, but they seem to be having a real problem with YahooMail.

There are reports of at least one of those attacks being successful. Fortunately, within 20 minutes House IT was able to shut down the computer remotely, but the hard drive had to be completely reformatted. Consequently, they have blocked YahooMail.

According to the email, over the course of a 48 hour period House IT saw a dramatic increase in ransomware attacks that originated from third-party mail services with an apparent focus on YahooMail. Additionally they warn that phishing emails can appear to be from someone you know, but have malicious links, or in the case of these attacks, .js files attached as zip files. House IT warned it’s users to be wary of links or attachments, especially when using non-House email. As part of their measures to thwart the ransomware, House IT has blocked YahooMail until further notice.

Yahoo is working with House IT in order to remedy the situation.