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Sweden: 800 supermarkets suddenly closed after hacker attack

Sweden: 800 supermarkets suddenly closed after hacker attack

Suddenly nothing works here anymore!

Swedish supermarket chain Coop, one of the country’s largest grocery stores, was forced to close each of its 800 branches on Saturday.

The reason: a large-scale cyber attack! A company spokeswoman said the attack shut down cash register systems.

An employee rejects customers in front of a closed cooperative branchPhoto: Photo Alliance / TT NYHETSBYR? N

State railways and a pharmacy chain have also reported disruptions. Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, 62, spoke of a very serious attack.

“In another geopolitical situation, state representatives can attack us in this way to paralyze society and create chaos,” the minister said on television.

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist (62)

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist (62)Photo: Photo Alliance / TT NYHETSBYR? N

‘Massive and devastating attack’

According to the news agency “TT”, the target of the attack in Sweden was software from the American company “Cassia”, which is used in many companies. He had already said on Friday that his VSA software may have been hacked.

The tool is used by IT service providers to manage the computer systems of corporate clients. Kaseya recommended that VSA users shut down their servers immediately.

According to US security service provider Huntress, eight IT service providers and nearly 200 corporate customers in the US have been affected. “This is a massive and devastating attack on supply chains,” said Huntress Director John Hammond.

Hackers make millions from attacks

The company suspects that Revell’s group was behind the attack. The FBI is already blaming REvil for an attack on the world’s largest meat company, JBS, in which hackers extorted $11 million.

In the United States, the state and companies are fighting a wave of attacks with extortion software (ransomware). The data of the systems that have been attacked is encrypted. Hackers often demand millions of cryptocurrencies to release data.

The hackers also extorted millions of dollars from the US oil pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline. An attack on the US software manufacturer SolarWinds, which affected thousands of users, also caused an uproar.