- One of the world’s largest extortionate hacker attacks has paralyzed hundreds of companies in the United States and Europe.
- 800 branches of a Swedish grocery chain have closed because records are no longer operating.
- The sophisticated attack on Friday targeted US technology company Kaseya.
- US President Joe Biden opens an investigation.
An extortion group known as “REvil” is suspected of hijacking Kaseya’s VSA desktop administration tool and smuggling a malicious update.
Billions in ransom payments required
Thousands of technology management provider customers could be infected. Sweden’s state rail transport and a pharmacy chain were also attacked. Emails were sent to affected stores demanding billions of dollars in ransom be paid. “What we’re seeing now in terms of victims is probably just the tip of the iceberg,” said Adam Myers, vice president of security firm CrowdStrike.
Biden begins investigation
US President Joe Biden responded evasively when asked about Russia’s possible responsibility. “The initial consideration was that it wasn’t the Russian government, but we’re not sure yet,” Biden said Saturday during a presentation in Central Lake, Michigan. He had assigned secret services to investigate the incident.
The United States has repeatedly blamed Russia for hacker attacks. Russia rejected this. According to US security service provider Huntress, about 200 US companies were affected by the cyber attack on software from Kaseya on Friday. Huntress suspects a Russian hacker group is behind the attack.
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