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Rackspace Ransomware Solution

Rackspace, initially reported their Exchange outage on Friday 12/02/2022 2:49 AM EST
WEBPRO started restoring email connectivity to affected clients on Saturday 12/3/2022 12:38 PM EST
All WEBPRO clients are running. 

First let me say with absolute confidence, Rackspace and many others, is more on guard than ever. Before Rackspace was Rackspace, there was a small company by the name MAIL.US. We started with them over 18 years ago and stayed when Rackspace bought the company out. Truth be told, there’s not one company that hasn’t been affected by ransomware. Microsoft, Google, Accenture, Acer, Apple, Colonial Pipeline, Boeing's Jeppesen Unit, JBS, and so on have all suffered from it including several university hospitals, and one in my hometown Savannah Georgia. 

Bad enough we play fast and loose with our personal and business data, and perhaps if ISPs and unified message support didn’t outsource to countries who harbor notorious hackers and ransomware mavericks, there’d be less incidents. 

"Will it happen again? Damn right it will!"   The bigger question is who can you count on to be in your corner when your data hits the fan?  Who do you know and can trust to bring you back online quickly?  We're certainly not a 3 billion dollar company like Rackspace but we're more nimble, know the products, and are willing, ready and able to help. 

We were there at Microsoft when Outlook and Exchange were built.  Most people don't know the undocumented history or what can be done to resurrect data. Email and technical support are being entrusted offshore in most cases. It shouldn't be the new normal for there are many seasoned professionals here in the states.

Rackspace Hostage Exchange

We found a solid-state solution to work-around the hosted Rackspace problem. We know the IMAP / POP email accounts are working without any issue however, the Microsoft Exchange accounts were the only accounts affected.  The solution Rackspace is advocating is not for the faint of heart and instructions are tenuous at best. After attempting 11 straight hours and working with seasoned engineers it was a flop. Rackspace are basically, punting the problem back to the customer requiring resellers and end-users to become a license holder and register as a master tenant of Microsoft which requires a company to supply a legitimate D-U-N-S number which we provided to Microsoft just as a precautionary. 

If you have been affected by Rackspace and wish to get email running again, it will take an administrative level expert to coordinate with you and obtain permission to access your domain name to edit DNS and MX record settings in order for email to resolve to a new webmail host instead of waiting for Microsoft to validate your new agreement. 

New emails will have to be created in an effort to pick up where you left off but with several caveats.  
Communication can only be restored from the date of the new email account created however, your old email data (that should reside on your local machine) can only be referenced and only used as a REPLY mechanism so long as you have a new webmail host to support a new incoming and outgoing mail provider. Your old data should be shown as ARCHIVED. Your old archived backup email data or PST files from Outlook will be inaccessible on Rackspace’s Hosted Exchange. By default, Outlook stores your local PST files in your user profile.

We strongly suggest, (if you have access to the Rackspace admin panel) not to disturb the accounts on Rackspace or delete the Exchange profiles in order to attempt to restore them to an IMAP / POP email address using the same email address – it will not work. Rackspace disabled migration and we proved this work-around ineffective.  The reason it SHOULD work is that that email address and data would auto-RESTORE provided it hasn’t been more than 14 days since the email account deletion. Again, it will not work.
Provided you are successful registering as a new Microsoft tenant, it states you will have to wait 3-5 business days to be recognized before Microsoft can activate the new email accounts and since there hasn’t been ANY definitive answers from Rackspace during the outage over the last 24 hours of this post, left us no choice but to proactively stand-up multiple email servers and provide continuity for our clients who experienced minimal downtime.

Since there was no support from Rackspace at the time we needed it, and since we are intimately familiar with their services and email in general, we were able to provide an immediate solution for our clients who were using Rackspace Hosted Exchange. 

Rackspace as of December 5, 2022 a ransomware incident.  Hardly an incident. 

Rackspace Statement Below

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