A2 Hosting Customers Lose Two Weeks of Business (and Counting) from Ransomware Attack

A2 Hosting was shut down by a ransomware attack

As we’ve noted in the past, modern businesses need to take ownership of their cyber protection and disaster recovery strategies, since research shows that 93% of businesses file for bankruptcy within a year after they’re denied access to their data for 10 or more days.

Unfortunately, customers of A2 Hosting are learning that lesson the hard way, as the team at A2 Hosting are entering their second week in any host’s nightmare.

On April 22, 2019, the company reported that they were alerted to a service interruption – a ransomware attack that had infected and encrypted some of their Windows hosting servers. While this damage certainly would have been enough of a problem by itself, the extent of the attack was far from over.

The Bad News

In order to stop the spread of the ransomware infection, A2 shut down all affected Windows servers and all virtual private servers, but not before the ransomware – believed to be a strain called GlobelImposter 2.0 – had compromised the company’s RDP connection and infected A2’s data center in Singapore. At the time of this article being published, that data center is still down, as are almost all their customers’ sites.

Since the attack, A2 has not confirmed what strain of ransomware attacked their system, what – if any – ransom was requested, or when customers can expect their sites to be recovered. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a furious backlash from A2’s customers, many of whom run e-commerce sites where any amount of downtime brings all business to a grinding halt.

The Worse News

A few days following the ransomware attack, the A2 team began recovering their customers’ data from existing backups. However, many customers were frustrated to find the most recent “complete viable backups” that could be failed back to were from anywhere between a day prior to the attacks and months prior to the attack.

For these customers, there’s little that can be done if they weren’t maintaining their own backup files on top of A2’s. According to the terms of service, all A2 customers agree to “A2 Hosting is not responsible for any data loss or corruption.” So, even though the company touts a “99.9% Uptime Commitment” almost all of their customers are being forced to turn to their own data backups in order to open their doors again. And, as you may expect, many of these customers weren’t keeping up-to-date backups or any backups at all.

How to Avoid These Threats: Cyber Protection

As we’ve seen in recent years, cyberthreats like ransomware are evolving in a number of frightening ways. Attacks are coming with greater frequency, they’re targeting larger, more recognizable organizations, and they’re increasing in sophistication to the point that even backups aren’t always secure.

This is a reality that all modern businesses need to overcome. Fortunately, having an up-to-date cyber protection strategy ensures that your business can succeed, no matter what threats come knocking at your door. With cyber protection services from Acronis, businesses can rely on seamless business continuity for all the data they create, store, and manage – extending from Acronis Backup’s full-image backups and restores to any hardware to Acronis Active Protection’s known and zero-day malware defenses that actively identify, stop, and delete potential malware strains – all without losing performance or complicating your IT infrastructure.

Final Thoughts

A2 Hosting’s ransomware attack and subsequent recovery challenges throw into sharp relief the need for layered protection to defend your business from modern cyberthreats. Acronis Backup with integrated Active Protection plays a key role in achieving this layered protection and delivering comprehensive cyber protection for everything your business does in the digital world.

Cyber protection represents a unique blend of reliable data protection with cutting-edge cybersecurity. With it protecting your infrastructure your business is thoroughly equipped to overcome threats like the ransomware that took down all of these unlucky businesses. And while we always strive to be forward-thinking and innovative, for companies hoping to avoid the damage done to A2 Hosting’s customers we would offer a bit of historical wisdom: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

To learn more about Acronis Backup with Active Protection and receive a free 30-day trial of the world’s most secure backup service, click here.