Kaseya ransomware attack affected at least 1,500 businesses

When American IT provider Kaseya was hacked late last week, ripples had been seen throughout the world. And now, it has come to light that at least 1,500 business across the globe have been hit by what has been deemed to be the biggest ransomware attack in history. The Kaseya ransomware attack has been linked back to hackers having ties with Russia, who targeted a software that has been developed by the company, and is used by thousands of firms in different countries.

Fred Voccola, the CEO at Kaseya has said that they are still in the process of estimating how many have been affected by the attack.

Thousands Affected

Thousands of small and medium-scale companies rely on the technology provided by Kaseya, which is distributed through a network of outsourcers.

Kaseya ransomware attack
Image Credits: Kaseya

The hack is believed to have been work of Russian cybercriminal group REvil, which has since proceeded to demand thousands of millions of dollars as ransom from the software’s end users, most of whom are financially not strong enough to pay up such large sums.

At least 17 countries were affected due to the Kaseya ransomware attack on Friday. Out of these, New Zealand and Sweden have been very badly hit, with the former country having to close down kindergartens and schools since they could not access the online classes. Meanwhile, the latter saw thousands of supermarkets, notable among them being grocery chain Coop, having to shut down, as they could not operate their payment registers.

$70 Million in Return for Restoring Data

The hackers have claimed responsibility for the breach, and have proceeded to demand a hefty sum of $70 million, in exchange for restoring the data of the affected businesses, through a representative that contacted news platform Reuters.

The hackers had previously also attacked meat-processing firm JBS, and had managed to extort a sum worth $11 million.

Investigations are On

The FBI had said last week that it was investigating the issue in collaboration with the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. At the same time, it had also issued a disclaimer of sorts, saying that the scale of the attack might make it impossible for them to address each and every victim individually.

Meanwhile, the White House too has stepped in to assess the situation, and on Sunday said that it is currently assessing the effect that the hack has had, to see whether any issue of national threat may arise. However, Voccola has said that so far, no national authority has been affected.