Google site and Yahoo Mail banned in Congress

Congressmen and Congresswomen have been blocked from Google-hosted apps and Yahoo Mail, Congressional sources have said. The bans came after the U.S. House of Representatives IT staff identified possible computer-takeover malware and ransomware, Reuters reported.

The prohibitions, imposed in the past 15 days and still in force as of May 11, have hampered some internal communications in the House, Reuters said, based on anonymous congressional sources.

Yahoo Mail was blocked first, for fear it could contain ransomware, according to the report. Google’s appspot.com, which hosts third-party apps, was blocked May 3 due to “indicators” it also hosted a remote-access virus called BLT, which can allow takeover of a computer, a House staffer said, according to Reuters.

Reuters’ sources said the issues with the two companies don’t appear related. Reuters noted that the FBI sent a warning to private industry last June, mentioning malware, including BLT found on appspot, that could steal personal data. Google told the news service that the firm was looking into the appspot block and would work with the House to resolve any problems. Two people clicked on infected Word documents attached to emails, Reuters sources in Congress said. Yahoo told Reuters it was working closely with the House on the mail issue.
 

Image: (Wikimedia Commons/www.elbpresse.de)

 

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