As many mouths so many voices. One of these voices came from the US lower house of Congress, House of Representatives’, two Congressional sources especially information technology team that have blocked lawmakers from having access to software applications given space by a Google cloud service, in order to prevent hacking campaign that is predictable.
This arises on the horizon of news when Yahoo Mail was put on a blacklist and the House authorities assumingly felt the threats from ransomware infiltration at the site.
In this connection, some restrictions have been imposed within the past two weeks which are still implemented. Two of these limitations have hindered some internal communications in the lower house, the sources added.
In addition, devices have been blocked from approaching appspot.com, the domain where Google hosts custom-built apps, now; devices cannot be connected to the House’s Internet through Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables. This occurred after the FBI notified Congress of a potential threat caused by vulnerable security condition, sources reported.
One of the sources from House staff straightly acknowledged the situation, by expressing that, “We began blocking appspot.com on 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 Reuters added.
The company staff was engaged in the process of investigating the restrictions imposed and has been desirous to sort out the House problems while FBI has not yet given a due response to the request, Google spokesman said.
There were a number of remote access tools capable of acquiring identifiable information without permission that includes a Trojan file known as BLT, mostly found on the Google appspot.com domain. For the similar purpose, the FBI had sent an advisory group to private industry in June last year.
Ted Henderson who is a former House employee has reportedly been noted that two Google-hosted apps he created especially for the use of congressional staffers to comfortably discuss politics and share alerts on votes which are going to be banned on their network.
An advisory email was sent by the House Information Security Office to lawmakers and staffers on 30th April about warning of intensified phishing attacks on the network of House from the third group, subsequently mailing applications, Gmail as well as Yahoo Mail.With the effect of this, consequently, appspot.com was disbanded.
The email seen by Reuters states that, “The attacks are focused on putting ‘ransomware’ on users’ computers”. Initially, the first target of the attackers assumed to be Yahoo Mail which they blocked on the network till issuance of further notification.
Moreover, sources familiar with the hacking said, two individuals become a victim of the ransomware by clicking on infected files, Ms. Word document email attachments. These document files sometimes get infected by less strong viruses, though these files are recoverable without paying any ransom, the sources stated.
Similarly, in recent years, these attacks have grown to the extreme and are quite common. As far as Ransomware attacks are a concern, one should be familiar that it involves accessing a computer or network’s files and encrypting them until the victim pay a ransom demanded by attackers.
However, the company spokesperson said that Yahoo is working closely with the House of Representatives’ to resolve this issue. People are waiting for a desirable outcome.