Ransomware attack shuts down major web hosting provider Managed.com

by Linas Kiguolis - -

The attack forced the company to shut down hosting systems, along with customer websites

Managed.com hacked

Managed.com, a vast web hosting provider, had to take down all of its servers due to a ransomware attack that was initiated on Monday, November 16. Since this company offers public-facing web hosting systems, not only their data, but the customer website data also was encrypted.

Managed.com quickly reacted to the attack by shutting down affected client websites. And within a few hours, the company decided to take down its whole web hosting infrastructure (including WordPress, email services, FTP servers, online databases, etc.) to ensure that other customer websites would not be compromised. The main site is still unreachable today (November 18).

On November 17, the company said[1] that it's now working directly with law enforcement agencies to identify the criminals behind the attack. Technology and information security teams are working hard to eradicate any threats and get their systems back up.

Restless clients force Managed.com to come clean

Lots of people have their websites hosted with Managed.com. When the attack happened, and everything was shut down, the company was silent for a while, whereas the customers got restless because their businesses went down, and there were no ways to contact their clientele. They are uncertain how long the downtime will be, as they predict it being offline for days or even weeks, causing massive disruptions.

According to ZDNet,[2] the company first tried to camouflage the ransomware attack as unscheduled maintenance. But it soon owned up and sincerely admitted to the worried customers that the company suffered a coordinated ransomware campaign.

Till today, all clients that summited tickets received the same answer:

I just got of the phone with the managed.com support team. The support desk tech I talked with basically read the Nov. 17, 2020 paragraph that is on their status.managed.com page word for word. When I pressed the issue for an ETA, mentioning we have an e-commerce site that is down, all I got was “We don't have an ETA” along with an appology. The tech did ask if I wanted to start a Support Ticket, which I declined. Well, at least they are still answering their phone.

Their whole clientele is growing more restless with every passing minute because revenues are decreased due to the Covid-19 pandemic as it is. And now, their businesses are generally shut down. Hopefully, Managed.com will manage to work things out quickly, continuing businesses running.

Ransomware still threatens major corporations and businesses

This is a second attack on the web hosting providers and data centers within two weeks, as X-Cart, an e-commerce software vendor, was hit on November 9.[3] At the beginning of this month, a famous branded beverage company Campari was attacked by ransomware.[4]

Ransomware attacks are rampant, and can be especially devastating during the coronavirus global pandemic. Even hospitals and pharmaceutical companies working on a vaccine are also targeted by cybercriminals.[5] In case of a ransomware attack, the company faces major consequences, as threat actors are now stealing corporate data before malware's deployment, which allows them to practice double-extortion.

Even if files are restored from backups, cybercriminals can threaten to publish sensitive information online, compromising the confidentiality of the company, as well as that of the employees and customers. Due to these new tactics, each ransomware attack since late 2019 is also considered a data breach and is treated as such.

Therefore, companies and institutions must invest in cybersecurity more. Staff training is also equally as important, as most ransomware attacks are initiated via targeted phishing emails.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

Linas Kiguolis is one of News Editors and also the Social Media Manager of 2spyware project. He is an Applied Computer Science professional whose expertise in cyber security is a valuable addition to the team.

Contact Linas Kiguolis
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