Hosting and cloud services provider Rackspace Technology acknowledged Tuesday that a recent incident that took most of its Hosted Exchange mail server business offline was the result of a ransomware attack. The company shut down the service last Friday.

Initially, the cause of the outage was unclear, but Rackspace quickly moved Exchange customers to Microsoft 365 as that part of the company's infrastructure was apparently unaffected.

Rackpsace offers migration to Microsoft 365

Rackspace said today that there is "no timetable" for restoring the Exchange service, but is offering Exchange users free technical support and access to Microsoft 365 as a substitute, while acknowledging that the migration is unlikely to be a smooth process for all users. . . Rackspace said that while the migration is in progress, customers can forward email sent to their Hosted Exchange inboxes to an external server as a temporary solution.

The company said the incident was isolated to its Hosted Exchange business and that the rest of its line of products and services are fully functional. It's unclear how Rackspace was able to limit ransomware attackers' access to a corner of its operations, and the company did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The investigation is "still in its early stages," according to Rackspace's official updates on the matter. The company added that it cannot yet determine if any consumer data was affected by the attack, but promised to notify customers if this was the case. Some email archives remain accessible, depending on updates, and Rackspace said it is working to provide them to customers "when available" as a step prior to migrating to Microsoft 365.

Rackspace also contracted "a leading cyber defense company" to participate in the investigation, though it declined to name the company publicly.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented additional security measures and will continue to actively monitor suspicious activity,” Rackspace said in its latest notice.

In a public statement, the company said that despite the ongoing nature of its research, it can say that the cyberattack has affected its results. The Hosted Exchange business generates around €30 million a year, and a prolonged outage, with its associated costs, is likely to drive that figure down.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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