July Ransomware Attacks

Over the 4th of July weekend, anywhere from 800 to 1,500 businesses around the world were affected by a ransomware attack that centered on the U.S. technology firm Kaseya.

The Florida-based company’s CEO said in an interview that it would be difficult to estimate the impact of the July attack because most of the targets hit were the customers of Kaseya’s customers.

Kaseya is a tech company that provides software and IT tools to “outsource firms,” companies that manage back-end tech work for companies that are too small or don’t have the resources to create and manage their own in-house IT departments.

It was one of these software tools that was targeted by the attack, which allowed the hackers behind the attack to paralyze hundreds of businesses across five continents. While most of the targets were of lesser concern, Sweden felt the disruption more keenly when hundreds of their supermarkets lost functionality of their cash registers and had to close. In New Zealand, schools and kindergartens were knocked offline.

The hackers who have claimed to be responsible for the breach have demanded a ransom to restore all of those affected business’ data — to the tune of $70 million dollars. They have expressed a willingness to negotiate privately with Reuters magazine and a cybersecurity expert.

“We are always ready to negotiate,” a representative of the hackers told Reuters earlier Monday. Fred Voccola, the CEO of Kaseys, has not said whether he would be ready or willing to take up to take up the hackers up on their offer.

As ransomware attacks become more and more disruptive, the topic of digital ransom payments has become more and more topically relevant. Ransomware attacks continue to be lucrative, and it’s unlikely we’ll see a decline in their frequency any time soon.

 

Stay up to date about the Kaseya ransomware attack with ZDNet’s primer article on the subject.