THE HOUSE IS UNDER ATTACK by hackers hoping to infiltrate congressional computers, encrypt their contents, and then force users to pay a ransom to get their access back.

“In the past 48 hours, the House Information Security Office has seen an increase of attacks on the House Network using third party, web-based mail applications such as YahooMail, Gmail,” the House’s Technology Service Desk wrote in an email to House staffers on April 30.

According to the email obtained by The Intercept, the hacked emails impersonate familiar people and invite staffers to download an attachment laced with malware — what’s known as a “phishing” attack.

“When a user clicks on the link in the attack email, the malware encrypts all files on that computer, including shared files, making them unusable until a ‘ransom’ is paid,” the email said.

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