The cybercriminals believed to be behind a devastating attack that left hundreds of companies worldwide offline have reportedly demanded $70 million to restore the data they’re holding ransom.
The demand was posted on a ‘dark web’ blog on Sunday, Reuters reported. The blog is “typically used” by the REvil cybercrime gang, who cybersecurity researchers believe are responsible for the latest attack, as well as an attack in May on JBS, the world’s largest meat-processing corporation.
Last week’s attack targeted Kaseya, a remote IT management platform. Hundreds of Kaseya’s clients in the US, Canada, the UK and worldwide had their data frozen, with knock-on effects for customers in some cases. Swedish grocery chain Coop was forced to close all 800 of its stores on Saturday, as the attack had taken its cash registers offline.
The White House announced on Sunday that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security “will reach out to identified victims to provide assistance.” President Joe Biden, who has previously accused Russia of being behind similar attacks, told reporters that he is “not sure it’s the Russians,” and is waiting on the US’ intelligence agencies to investigate.
The US has previously blamed Russia for numerous cyberattacks on American infrastructure and commerce. The Biden administration sanctioned Russia in April, partly over its alleged involvement in last year’s SolarWinds hack. Even though Biden didn’t accuse Moscow of direct involvement in a cyberattack targeting the US’ fuel supply in May, he did insist that it bore “some responsibility,” as the hackers had allegedly been operating from a Russian-speaking country.
Blame has also been leveled at Beijing. Microsoft claimed in March that it had caught Chinese “state-sponsored” hackers breaking into its email servers, and cybersecurity researchers have accused the Chinese state of involvement in multiple attacks since, including one on New York’s public transportation network.
Moscow and Beijing have consistently denied US accusations of cybercrime involvement.
In a statement on Friday, the Russian Embassy in Washington expressed hope that the US would “abandon the practice of unfounded accusations and focus on professional work with Russian experts to strengthen international information security.”