Cyber Attack on US Companies

Hackers demand $ 70 million ransom..

Cyber attacks time and again paralyze systems – after pipelines and a meat company, it has now hit a large IT service provider. The extent can hardly be overlooked.

The group of hackers who attacked hundreds of companies with blackmail software over the weekend is demanding US $ 70 million for a master key to all affected computers. The amount should be paid in the digital currency Bitcoin, it said in a blog entry about which, among other things, the IT security company Sophos reported on Monday night. Then data should be released again.

Supermarket chain’s POS systems paralyzed
The hacker group REvil used a vulnerability at the American IT service provider Kaseya to attack its customers with a program that encrypts data and demands a ransom.

REvil claims more than a million computers have been infected. The extent of the damage has so far been difficult to assess from an independent source. The IT security company Huntress spoke of more than 1,000 companies in which systems had been encrypted. Kaseya reported that fewer than 40 customers were affected. However, these also included service providers who in turn have several customers. This created a kind of domino effect.

According to the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), an IT service provider and several of its customers were also affected in Germany. There are a few thousand computers in several companies, said a spokesman on Sunday.

Other attacks in the past
The REvil group, located in Russia by experts, was behind the attack on the world’s largest meat company JBS a few weeks ago. As a result, the company had to close plants for several days, including in the USA. JBS paid the attackers the equivalent of eleven million dollars in cryptocurrencies.

Shortly before the JBS case, an attack of this type halted the operation of one of the largest gasoline pipelines in the United States and temporarily cut fuel supplies in the country. It is also the second attack that became known within a few months in which hackers were able to penetrate the systems of its customers via an IT service provider. Using maintenance software from Solarwinds, attackers were believed to have entered the computer networks of US government agencies, including those of the Department of Finance and Energy, for espionage purposes.

Computers shipped with old systems
Attacks with blackmail Trojans have made headlines several times in the past few years. In May 2017, the blackmail TrojanWannaCry” paralyzed the computers of many private individuals, including computers in British hospitals and timetable displays for Deutsche Bahn. A few weeks later, the ransom software “NotPetya” hit the Maersk shipping company and the Nivea manufacturer Beiersdorf, among others.