Ransomware attacks affects thousands of global businesses, hackers demand $70M ransom

In a statement the CEO of Kaseya. The US IT company that has been at the center of a massive ransomware attack saud, between 800 to 1,500 businesses around the globe have been affected by the ransomware attack.

In an interview, the CEO of the Florida-based company said, it was hard to estimate the precise impact of the attack.

Kaseya is a company which provides software tools to IT outsourcing shops – companies that typically handle back-office work for companies too small or modestly resourced to have their own tech departments.

One such tool was last week which was then leveraged by hackers to paralyze hundreds of businesses on all five continents, said Fred Voccola Kaseya’s CEO,

While many of those affected have been small companies, including accountants or dentists’ offices, the impact of the attack has been felt severely in Sweden, where hundreds of supermarkets had to close because their cash registers were inoperative; in New Zealand schools and kindergartens were forced to go offline because of the attack.

Hackers claiming responsibility for the attack have demanded a ransom of $70 million to restore all the affected businesses’ data; they have also indicated to lower the ransom amount in private conversations with a cybersecurity expert.

“We are always ready to negotiate,” said a representative of the hackers without providing a name.

Voccola did not say whether he was ready to take the offers made by the hackers.

“I can’t comment ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘maybe’,” said Voccola. “No comment on anything to do with negotiating with terrorists in any way.”

With ransomware attacks becoming increasingly lucrative, talks on ransom payments have become increasingly fraught.

Voccola went on to add, he had spoken to officials at the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security about the breach but declined to say what they had told him about paying or negotiating.

Earlier this week, the White House said it was in the process of verifying whether there were any “national security risks” associated by the ransomware attack. According to Voccola, so far he was not aware of any nationally important organizations being hit.

“We’re not looking at massive critical infrastructure,” said Voccola. “That’s not our business. We’re not running AT&T’s network or Verizon’s 911 system. Nothing like that.”

With Kaseya trying to fix the vulnerability in its software which was exploited by the hackers, cyber security experts are speculating that the hackers may have hacked the company’s communications from the inside and are monitoring the communications of the company.

Voccola responded to this speculation saying neither he nor investigators of his company have seen any sign of this.

“We don’t believe that they were in our network,” said Voccola. He added that the details of the breach would be made public “once its ‘safe’ and OK to do that.”

Experts believe the full impact of the hack will come into focus on Tuesday, when Americans return from their July Fourth holiday weekend.

The most notable disruption of the hack was felt in Sweden where many supermarkets were forced to close their doors with cash registers becoming inoperative.

A representative of the hackers described the disruption in New Zealand as an “accident” but expressed no such regret about the disruption in Sweden. The supermarkets’ closure in Sweden was “nothing more than a business,” said the representative from the hackers.

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