Devine city government emails affected by ransomware attack

A ransomware attack on the company serving as hosting provider for the city of Devine means that any email communications from Dec. 9 through 13 may be permanently lost, the city’s IT consultant told the city council last week.
“Network Solutions basically lost their exchange server due to an encryption hack,” consultant James Evans said. “So it was pretty much on their part. They didn’t upgrade some servers and I think it was just due to negligence on their part.”
In response, Evans redirected the city’s computer servers to Office 365, a subscription service operated by Microsoft.
“Now that we are up and running I would probably stick with 365 just because they are a publicly traded company,” Evans said. He doubted that Network Solutions would survive the lawsuits certain to result from the latest loss of critical data.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, preventing access to computer files, systems, or networks unless a ransom is paid for its return.
According to Forbes magazine, Network Solutions is the fifth largest domain name registrar worldwide with nearly seven million domains on file.
Evans said that city service emails are normally copied to a local hard drive for protection. However, any emails received during the affected period are likely encrypted by the ransomware and unreadable.
As a precaution, Evans said he has reset passwords for all the city accounts affected by the attack.