Cyber-Attackers Demands $70m in Bitcoin as Ransom

The REvil group has accepted the responsibility of the Cyber Attack on the US IT firm. The claims of the attack on Kaseya US IT firm has almost hit 1 million systems. This number has not been verified and the exact total of victims is unknown. But 500 Swedish Coop supermarkets and 11 schools in New Zealand, two Dutch IT firms also among victims of the Cyber Attack. Cyber-security firm Huntress Labs said that about 200 firms have been affected and still the count of victims continues. Cyber-Attackers have demanded $70m in Bitcoin as Ransom.

Kaseya IT firm provides software to managed service providers, those firms themselves provide outsourced IT services to other companies. Kaseya IT firm has confirmed that less than 40 of its own customers have been affected. The Cyber attack initially targeted Kaseya, before spreading through corporate networks that use its software and the number of victims may be much greater. And the number of computers used within the victimized firms may still grow bigger. Fred Voccola, Kaseya chief executive said that the number of victims which has small organizations like libraries and dental practices, collectively will add up to be in the low thousands.

How the Cyber security is trying to counter the attack and to reduce its impact is incredible. Private and Public sector’s Cyber-defenders both are issuing precautions and alerts regarding the attack whereas the professionals and experts are working tirelessly to undo the projected damage. All these efforts have been fruitful and have reduced the number of victims which could have been far more than it is now. The digital doorway in Kaseya system that has let in the the breach and attack has been detected.

The ransom has been asked to be paid in Bitcoins rather than Monero cryptocurrency which is hard to trace and the cyber-security have expressed their surprise at the group’s demand. Prof Ciaran Martin founder of the National Cyber Security Centre has called REvil’s decision to demand payment in Bitcoin, “weird”. The US Justice Department has in an earlier ransom case traced and seized bitcoins worth millions of dollars that were paid in the Colonial Oil Pipeline case. The founder and chief scientist of Elliptic firm, Tom Robinson has said that while analyzing the bitcoin payments, REvil has negotiated for smaller ransoms of $200,000 rather than $70m, to unlock everything, with individual customers.

cyber-attack demands $70m in bitcoin 2

This case shows the skill, persistence and determination of these criminals, and after all the cyber-security efforts the race is won by the ransomware attackers. Prof Ciaran Martin founder of the National Cyber Security Centre said that this global crime is unique in its sophistication. It is believed that these hackers of REvil’s are based in Russia or from those countries that were part of the Soviet Union. Prof Martin has criticized Russia for providing such safe environment for hackers and the Western countries are also not helping in stopping the hacker rather they are making it easier for the hacker to be paid;  and the hackers are encouraged to come back for more.

 “unsurprisingly they are coming back for more”

Also Read: Bitcoin Sinks after Colonial Pipeline Ransom

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