Ransomware infections of computers in the United States House of Representatives have lately been on the rise, and it looks like the Federal Information Technology team isn't only afraid of security leaks related to Yahoo Mail which it recently blocked. It isn't because, according to the latest report, the same IT team has also prevented house members from using any Google services. Regardless of the fact that both Yahoo and Google got blacklisted in a rather short span of time by the US lawmakers, i.e. the people who make sure that the US lawmakers don't get hacked and blackmailed, sources report that these two measures are not connected in a direct manner.
In other words, neither the House's WiFi nor Ethernet connections can now access Google services. This latest restriction was put into place on May 3rd and was allegedly requested by the FBI itself. The blacklisting of Google services was allegedly prompted after the FBI realized that Google's appspot.com was and still is hosting a remote access trojan "BLT" since June of last year. Just like its name suggests, a remote access trojan or "RAT" for short, enables its creator to access any infected computer without actually being physically present at its location. After that, there's a whole bunch of malicious stuff the attacker can do, and in recent years, on of the most popular method of cashing in on RATs was installing the so-called ransomware software used to extort money from careless PC owners. The same source reports that an unnamed trojan has already recently claimed two victims in the House of Representatives who opened an infected Word document sent to them via email. Luckily for them, the federal IT team saved their computers from the claws of ransomware.
It's currently unknown when these restrictions will be lifted and whether the authorities even plan on lifting them at all. However, it's likely that this isn't a permanent situation as many staffers of the House utilize Google and Yahoo services and the recent blacklisting of these services are allegedly already making internal communications among the lawmakers more difficult. While Yahoo has confirmed that it's working with the US officials in order to put this unfortunate situation behind them, Google has yet to comment on the issue.