Customers Knocked Offline Due to Ransomware Attack

The SmarterASP.NET ransomware attack was discovered last week and affected both customer data and the company itself, ZDNet reported. SmarterASP.NET’s website was inactive Saturday but reactivated Sunday, but some customers’ accounts, data and websites remain inaccessible. SmarterASP.NET has more than 440,000 customers worldwide. In addition, SmarterASP.NET manages data centers in the United States and Europe.

The company says it 440,516 customers but it did not indicate how many were affected nor did it give out any details on the attack itself.

“Your hosting account was under attack and hackers have encrypted all your data. We are now working with security experts to try to decrypt your data and also to make sure this would never happen again. Please stay tune for more info. Please know that we are getting thousands of messages in our email and we don’t have enough staffs to reply them all. So please don’t email us. We will continue to put out notices on our Facebook page. Please check back soon,” was posted by the company.

The ransomware attack was an unwelcome disruption for a company that markets itself on keeping sites online. Throughout the day Monday, SmarterASP.NET posted updates to its Facebook page saying that customer accounts locked by the ransomware were gradually being decrypted and restored. Some customers thanked SmarterASP.NET for getting their websites back online, while others complained their sites were still offline. One user asked if the hackers would be brought to justice.

A phone call to SmarterASP.NET for comment did not go through due to the high volume of calls the company was receiving. This is the third web-hosting provider to be struck by ransomware this year, ZDNet reported.

How to protect yourself from ransomware

  • Pick strong passwords. And don’t re-use passwords, ever.
  • Make regular backups. They could be your last line of defense against a six-figure ransom demand. Be sure to keep them offsite where attackers can’t find them.
  • Patch early, patch often. Ransomware like WannaCry and NotPetya relied on unpatched vulnerabilities to spread around the globe.
  • Lock down RDP. Criminal gangs exploit weak RDP credentials to launch targeted ransomware attacks. Turn off RDP if you don’t need it, and use rate limiting, 2FA or a VPN if you do.
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