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December 23, 2022

Rackspace retrieves email data for some customers after ransomware attack

The hybrid cloud provider is recovering information slowly, but many remain without access to inboxes.

By Claudia Glover

Rackspace has managed to restore some customer data amid the ongoing fallout from a ransomware attack that impacted its managed Microsoft Exchange email environment. The hybrid cloud provider is restoring customer email data to accounts, something that has previously been missing from the recovery effort. But many are still angered by the lack of communication and direct care from Rackspace, with small businesses seemingly hit hardest.

Rackspace emails offline
Rackspace manages to retrieve some customer data. (Photo by Piotr Swat/Shutterstock)

In an update released this morning, Rackspace explained that the company has “seen success with the email data recovery process for our Hosted Exchange email customers. We are proactively notifying customers for whom we have recovered greater than 50% of their mailboxes”.

Rackspace retrieves customer data

Customers are also being offered extra resources by the company to ease the effects on businesses. Rackspace is providing all Hosted Exchange customers with access to the cloud-based Microsoft 365 service, and has provided users with instructions on how to activate this.

The issue of data recovery has been much-discussed among customers. Many have lost years of valuable data which is vital for the running of their companies. Some have taken to Twitter to complain about Rackspace’s failure to address the issue.

The update does not mention how many customers are able to retrieve their data.

How the Rackspace ransomware attack unfolded

Rackspace suffered a ransomware attack on 4 December that resulted in the company’s managed Microsoft Exchange email infrastructure, and the historic email data of thousands of customers, taken offline.

The company was criticised for its slow response to the problem and the lack of information it provided to clients. One user, Jessica Jonap, tweeted: “Unbelievable, after five hours on hold, call was answered, we gave info politely, agent said to hold a moment, and we were disconnected. Poof. No help, wasted time.”

As to the extent of the damage done, the company has disclosed some information to the US government’s financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In an SEC filing, Rackspace said that the cyberattack was likely to decrease Rackspace’s total annual revenue by 1%, “and is comprised of primarily small and medium businesses who solely use this product. No other Rackspace products, platforms, solutions or businesses were affected or are experiencing downtime during this incident,” the filing says.

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The company’s chief product officer Josh Prewitt was reported as saying that “from an overall perspective for Rackspace, at one per cent of the company’s revenue it’s not as impactful to the company overall”.

This is unlikely to satisfy customers who may not regain access to their email servers until the new year, if at all. Tech Monitor has contacted Rackspace for more information, on how many customers have been able to retrieve their data and when the rest might expect to get it back, but has not received a response at the time of writing.

*How has the Rackspace Microsoft Exchange email outage impacted your business? Contact Claudia Glover with comments or tips.

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