Safeguarding Your Business Against Ransomware Attacks All About Unpatched VMware ESXi Servers

Ransomware is a malicious type of software that is used to extort money from victims by encrypting their data and demanding payment for its release. This type of attack has become increasingly common in recent years, with a recent ransomware attack targeting the popular VMware ESXi servers used by hosting service providers. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of ransomware and its effects, as well as an in-depth look at the ESXiArgs ransomware attack, its potential vulnerabilities, and what technical measures can be taken to mitigate it. We’ll also provide tools and resources to help protect against ransomware attacks.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that is used to lock users out of their digital devices or networks until they pay a ransom. It is mostly used by cybercriminals to make money, but it can also be used as a form of political protest. When ransomware is installed on a device or network, it encrypts all the files and data stored on it and then demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.

Ransomware can have a serious impact on its victims, especially if it is used to target a hosting service provider. Not only can the data stored on the infected device or network be lost forever, but the malicious software can also spread to other systems, putting other users at risk. Additionally, those who pay the ransom may never receive the decryption key, and their data is still at risk of being lost. It is important for users to secure their systems by keeping them up-to-date and backed up, as this can help protect them from ransomware attacks.

How Does A Ransomware Attack Work?

Recently, a massive ransomware attack has been targeting unpatched VMware ESXi servers, leaving many hosting service providers vulnerable to malicious hackers. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts data or locks computer systems for the purpose of extorting money from victims. It is important to understand how ransomware works and the steps it takes to encrypt a system.

Ransomware is typically delivered through email phishing campaigns. It could also be installed through malicious websites, software downloads, or even via USB flash drives. Once the ransomware is installed, it will begin to scan the system for files and encrypt them using a code that only the hacker knows. The encrypted files will be inaccessible until the victim pays a ransom to the hacker.

If a system is infected with ransomware, it is important to take immediate action. The first step is to disconnect the system from the network and any other connected devices. The next step is to back up any important files that have not already been encrypted. Finally, it is best to consult a professional to see what steps should be taken to remove the ransomware and restore the system.

What Is VMware ESXi And Why Is It Vulnerable To Ransomware Attacks?

VMware ESXi is a virtualization and cloud computing platform designed to run on physical servers. It allows administrators to manage multiple operating systems and applications on a single server, helping to reduce hardware, energy, and maintenance costs. Unfortunately, VMware ESXi is vulnerable to ransomware attacks due to its lack of security patches.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files, making them inaccessible to users. In the case of VMware ESXi, attackers exploit the lack of security patches to gain access to the system and install ransomware. Once installed, the ransomware will encrypt the user’s data and demand a ransom for its release.

For hosting service providers, VMware ESXi is a crucial tool for setting up virtual servers. By leveraging the cloud computing capabilities of the platform, service providers can deliver a wide range of services to their customers. However, the risk of ransomware attacks has made it necessary for hosting service providers to ensure that their VMware ESXi servers are properly patched and secured against such threats.

New ESXiArgs Ransomware

A new strain of ransomware, called ESXiArgs, is targeting hosting service providers running VMware ESXi systems. This is a particularly insidious form of ransomware since it is designed to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities in the ESXi operating system. By taking advantage of these flaws, ESXiArgs can disable the server, encrypt all data and then demand a ransom payment to restore the server and data.

ESXiArgs ransomware is different from other ransomware attacks in that it specifically targets hosting service providers. By exploiting vulnerabilities in the ESXi operating system, ESXiArgs can disable the server, encrypt all data, and demand a ransom payment to restore the server and data. Additionally, ESXiArgs is unique in that it requires an initial payment to the attacker in order to unlock the encrypted data.

It is important for all businesses and organizations to understand how serious ransomware attacks can be and take steps to ensure that their systems are guarded against them. Ransomware attackers have been known to target vulnerable systems with relentless determination, often leaving companies and individual users facing hefty bills or even complete system wipes if they do not pay up. By making sure all systems are kept up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates, organizations can reduce the risk of attack significantly. Additionally, regularly training staff on potential threats is another way to help mitigate risk.

ESXiArgs Technical Details

A new variant of ransomware, dubbed ESXiArgs, has been discovered recently targeting unpatched VMware ESXi servers. The ransomware encrypts data stored on the server, preventing its use unless a ransom is paid. It is believed to be delivered through an exploit of the unpatched server, allowing hackers to gain access and deploy the malicious payload.

ESXiArgs works by encrypting data stored on the server, making it impossible to access until a ransom is paid. It is believed to be delivered via an exploit of the unpatched server, allowing the hackers to gain access and deploy the malicious payload. The ransomware encrypts data with a strong encryption algorithm, making it nearly impossible to decrypt without the encryption key.

To protect against ESXiArgs ransomware, hosting service providers should ensure that their servers are up to date with the latest security patches. Additionally, administrators should monitor for any suspicious activity on the server and back up data regularly to ensure that it can be recovered in the event of an attack. Lastly, users should take steps to ensure that their data is encrypted and stored in a secure location to minimize the risk of losing access to their data.

How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware Attacks

The recent massive ransomware attack targeting unpatched VMware ESXi servers has been a wake-up call for hosting service providers to ensure they have taken the necessary steps to protect their customers. To protect yourself from ransomware attacks, it is important to have the right tools and resources in place. These include firewalls, anti-malware software, and regular backups of your data. Additionally, you should ensure that all your operating systems, software, and applications are regularly updated and patched. Finally, you should be aware of phishing emails and other scams that are designed to infect your computer with malicious software.

In the case of the ESXiargs ransomware attack, it is critical that organizations apply the latest patches to the VMware ESXi software. The patches address the vulnerability that is being exploited by the attacker, making it much harder for them to gain access to the virtual machines. Organizations should also take the following steps to protect themselves from this attack:

  1. Back up important data and virtual machines: Regularly backing up important data and virtual machines is one of the most effective ways to protect against a ransomware attack. In the event of an attack, organizations can restore their virtual machines and data from the backup, minimizing the impact of the attack.
  1. Implement multi-factor authentication: Implementing multi-factor authentication can make it much harder for attackers to gain access to systems. This added layer of security can be applied to both physical and virtual machines, adding an extra layer of protection.
  1. Monitor network activity: Monitoring network activity can help organizations detect any suspicious activity on their network. This can include unusual network traffic, login attempts from unknown IP addresses, and unauthorized access to virtual machines.
  2. Implement security software: Implementing security software such as antivirus, firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention systems can help organizations detect and prevent attacks. These tools can help organizations identify and block malicious traffic, reducing the risk of a successful attack.
  1. Train employees on security best practices: Training employees on security best practices can help organizations reduce the risk of a successful attack. This can include training employees on how to identify phishing emails, how to handle sensitive information, and how to report security incidents.


The recent ESXiArgs ransomware attack highlights the importance of keeping systems up-to-date and secure. Hosting service providers should ensure that their VMware ESXi servers have the latest security patches applied, as well as use additional measures such as firewalls and monitoring solutions to help detect and prevent ransomware attacks. Additionally, regularly backing up data and keeping security software up to date can help protect against data loss due to ransomware attacks.

 The ESXiArgs ransomware attack specifically targets unpatched VMware ESXi servers and exploits the vulnerability CVE-2021-21974. Admins and hosting providers must take immediate action to disable the vulnerable SLP service and apply the available patch to prevent a compromise. Those who have already been affected should follow the guide provided by the security researcher to rebuild their virtual machines and recover their data.

A Guide To Understanding The Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is a type of web hosting service in which an entire server is dedicated to a single customer or organization. Dedicated hosting is often used by large organizations or businesses that have high-traffic websites or applications that require a high level of performance, security, and customization. 

Dedicated WordPress hosting is a type of web hosting service specifically designed for hosting WordPress websites. It provides customers with a dedicated server environment optimized for WordPress, which can result in improved performance, security, and reliability compared to shared hosting. In dedicated WordPress hosting, the customer has full access to the server resources, including the operating system, memory, and processing power. 

Dedicated WordPress hosting is ideal for businesses and organizations with high-traffic WordPress websites that require a high level of performance, security, and customization. It is also suitable for businesses that want to run multiple WordPress sites on a single server, as dedicated WordPress hosting provides the necessary resources and flexibility to do so. 

Different Types Of Dedicated WordPress Hosting 

There are two main types of dedicated WordPress hosting: managed and unmanaged. 

1. Managed Dedicated WordPress Hosting

In managed dedicated WordPress hosting, the hosting provider takes care of server management tasks, such as server configuration, software installation, and security updates, on behalf of the customer. This managed WordPress hosting is ideal for businesses and organizations that do not have the in-house technical expertise to manage a server, or for those who want to focus on developing and running their WordPress website or application rather than managing the underlying infrastructure. 

2. Unmanaged Dedicated WordPress Hosting

In unmanaged dedicated WordPress hosting, the customer is responsible for managing the server, including installing software, configuring the server, and maintaining security. This type of dedicated WordPress hosting is ideal for businesses and organizations that have in-house technical expertise and want complete control over their server environment. 

The choice of dedicated WordPress hosting type depends on the specific needs and requirements of the customer, including their technical expertise, budget, and level of control desired. 

Virtual Dedicated Hosting, also known as Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, is a type of web hosting service that provides a virtualized environment for customers, similar to a dedicated server, within a shared hosting infrastructure For WordPress users, virtual dedicated hosting provides a solution that offers the benefits of dedicated WordPress hosting, such as improved performance and security, at a lower cost. 

Virtual dedicated hosting provides WordPress users with more control and flexibility over their server environment compared to shared hosting, while still being more affordable than dedicated WordPress hosting. It is ideal for growing WordPress websites that require more resources and control but do not yet need the resources of a dedicated server. 

Comparing Managed Virtual Dedicated Hosting Providers: Key Factors To Consider 

When choosing a managed virtual dedicated hosting provider, it’s important to consider factors such as the provider’s reliability, security measures, technical support, and pricing. You may also want to consider the provider’s reputation, the types of services and tools they offer, and the level of customization they provide. 

When looking for the best managed virtual dedicated hosting, it is important to compare different providers based on the following factors:  

  • Performance: Consider the server hardware, network infrastructure, and load-balancing capabilities of the hosting provider to ensure that your website has the necessary resources to perform well.  
  • Security: Look for providers that offer robust security features, such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and regular security updates.  
  • Support: Choose a provider that offers 24/7 support, both through email and phone, and has a knowledgeable support team that can help you with any technical issues.  
  • Features: Consider the features that are important to you, such as the ability to install custom software, backup, and disaster recovery options, and the ability to scale your resources as your website grows.  
  • Pricing: Compare the prices of different providers to find one that offers the best value for your money.  
  • Reliability: Make sure to choose a provider that has a solid track record for uptime and reliability, so that your website remains accessible to your visitors. 

It’s important to carefully consider these factors when choosing a managed virtual dedicated hosting provider, as it can have a significant impact on the performance and security of your website. 

Pros of Dedicated Web Hosting 

  • Performance: Dedicated web hosting provides the best performance, as the server resources are not shared with other websites. This results in faster load times and improved website responsiveness.  
  • Security: With dedicated web hosting, you have complete control over the security of your server, which makes it easier to implement robust security measures and keep your website safe from attacks.  
  • Customization: Dedicated web hosting provides greater flexibility in terms of customization and configuration, allowing you to install and run custom software, configure the server to meet your specific needs, and access low-level server configurations.  
  • Reliability: Dedicated web hosting provides more reliable performance, as the server is dedicated to your website, and not shared with other websites. This results in better uptime and fewer interruptions in service.  
  • Scalability: Dedicated web hosting provides the ability to scale your resources as your website grows, ensuring that your website has the resources it needs to continue to perform well even as it attracts more visitors. 

Cons of Dedicated Web Hosting

  • Cost: Dedicated web hosting is often more expensive than other types of web hosting, such as shared or VPS hosting.  
  • Expertise: Setting up and maintaining a dedicated web hosting environment requires technical expertise and specialized knowledge, which can make it challenging for inexperienced users.  
  • Maintenance: With dedicated web hosting, you are responsible for maintaining and updating the server, which can be time-consuming and requires technical knowledge.  
  • Limitations: Dedicated web hosting can come with limitations, such as restrictions on the software and applications you can run, and limitations on the number of visitors your website can handle.  
  • Complexity: Dedicated web hosting can be more complex to set up and manage than other types of web hosting, and requires a higher level of technical expertise to properly configure and maintain the server environment. 


In conclusion, dedicated hosting is a powerful and flexible solution for businesses with high-traffic websites, demanding security requirements, or complex hosting needs. With a dedicated server, you also enjoy superior performance, security, and uptime, compared to shared hosting. However, dedicated hosting requires a higher level of technical expertise to manage. Ultimately, whether or not dedicated hosting is right for you will depend on your business needs, budget, and technical abilities.

In-House Server Vs Cloud Hosting: Which Is The Better House For Your Business?

The most important choice of servers in businesses is between an in-house server and a cloud-based one. There are many factors to take into account, despite the choice appearing to be black or white. How crucial uptime is to your company’s success is the first consideration. Although cloud solutions can cost more than an internal server, for some companies the advantages significantly outweigh the expenses. For instance, an online company that relies on web-based transactions will value uptime highly and will probably be prepared to pay extra for a cloud-based solution that can provide a particular uptime level. Other organizations that are less reliant on uptime can benefit more from an internal setup.

There is a lot of information to weigh while determining which server is appropriate for your company. Therefore, it becomes important to consider in-house servers vs cloud hosting. There are significant differences in the user experience, implementation time, and cost even while they carry out comparable fundamental duties to store, exchange, and protect information and data. Consider switching to a cloud server if your company has outgrown its in-house server and you want to replace or update. A cloud-based solution may be preferable to an internal server if your company is planning to grow to new cities or nations.

Benefits And Drawbacks Faced by Businesses By Using In-House Servers

During the course of weighing the benefits and drawbacks of having internal servers for your company, it’s crucial to have a business continuity plan in place, in case the server fails. Businesses that don’t depend on uptime are frequently more suited for in-house servers than those that do.

Small and medium-sized enterprises have traditionally preferred internal servers over cloud servers for file sharing and hosting services such as email and software. Even while small and medium-sized organizations can now more easily use the cloud, some people still prefer in-house servers since they have more control over them. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that purchasing the necessary software and hardware for in-house servers can be expensive at first. The development of internal servers is another option for adapting to your company’s changing needs. It’s crucial to keep in mind that your company will want a specialized IT manager to keep it up to date and guarantee that it is secure at all times, which can be pricey.

The advantages that come with using in-house servers are having physical control of your backup and being able to prevent unauthorized third parties from accessing important data and information in-house. Data can be accessed without an internet connection. Moreover, it might be more affordable for some small and medium-sized businesses to opt for this server. 

However, businesses also need to consider the infrastructure and hardware which demand significant capital expenditures. A separate facility is needed to house the server, as well as dedicated IT assistance. There is an increased risk of data loss in catastrophe events which will depend on how frequently data is safely stored offsite. There are no uptime or recovery assurances.

What Benefits And Drawbacks Do Cloud Servers Offer For Businesses?

Small and medium-sized organizations can benefit from cloud servers over internal servers, but there are also certain disadvantages. A cloud server will be useful if your company has plenty of virtual and remote employees and you don’t want to handle an internal server. Because cloud servers are easily scalable, organizations may easily adapt to shifting demand without making a significant investment. Despite the fact that you won’t have to worry about the security of your data and information, you will need to budget for monthly hosting expenses.

The benefits of cloud servers include there being no need for physical hardware or capital expenses. This typically works for businesses that quickly outgrow their data storage needs.

Since the majority of cloud solution providers only charge you for what you use, storage can be readily extended as needed. Cloud servers offer simple and effective backup and restore capabilities on any device, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones, from any location.

Data backups to the cloud at intervals of as little as 15 minutes can help reduce data losses.

However, the expenditures may outweigh the advantages if your organization isn’t reliant on continuous operation and quick data recovery. The amount of data that can be kept on the cloud is constrained by the cost and accessibility of storage. If the internet breaks down at your place of business or the cloud provider’s location, you won’t be able to access any data or information. Full data recovery may be time-consuming and have a significant negative impact on your organization.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Using A Hybrid Option

Businesses can also consider a hybrid option for using both in-house and cloud servers. A hybrid cloud allows businesses the best of both worlds by combining on-premises and cloud-based server solutions. A hybrid cloud can take on a variety of configurations and be dedicated servers and public cloud storage is combined or integrated with private cloud servers with public cloud servers. Hybrid cloud users can instantly increase their computing power. The in-house server can be used for crucial operations while bigger analytical and processor-intensive jobs, for example, can be transmitted to the public cloud. This appeals to businesses who prioritize protecting the privacy of sensitive data and information but want additional processing capacity from the cloud. 

Because they only pay for the cloud resources they utilize, employing a hybrid cloud for organizations with transient peak loads can be more cost-effective than replacing their servers. It can be costly and a waste of resources to upgrade servers for a handful of the busiest times of the year.

ConclusionWhen choosing between in-house servers vs cloud servers, or the option of hybrid servers for your company, it’s critical to select a solution that meets both your current and future business demands. The operations, objectives, and capabilities of your company will play a significant role in your decision regarding an internal, cloud, or hybrid solution.