Hackers Demand $70 Million to Unlock Businesses in Ransomware Attack

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A Russian hacking group is demanding $70 million following a ransomware attack on a Miami-based software company that could affect hundreds of additional businesses, multiple outlets reported.

The group REvil has posted its demand on a site associated with the dark web, in what experts told the Associated Foreign Press could be the biggest ransomware attack on record.

REvil claimed responsibility for last month’s cyberattack on Brazil-based meat supplier JBS, temporarily halting production for roughly a quarter of the U.S. meat supply. JBS paid the group $11 million at the time.

The current attack targeted Miami firm Kaseya, an IT company that said hundreds of businesses worldwide using its software were likely affected by the attack. Swedish supermarket chain Coop Sweden closed hundreds of stores after the attack froze cash registers, while kindergartens in New Zealand were also affected.

CEO Fred Voccola said affected businesses included “dental practices, architecture firms, plastic surgery centers, libraries, things like that,” in an interview with the Associated Press. The scope of the attack may not be known for some time because American businesses are still returning from the long holiday weekend.

REvil’s demands may indicate that the attack was broader in scope than the hackers intended, Allan Liska, a researcher at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, told the Washington Post.

REvil’s request for a joint ransom is a “sign that they realize that this is a bigger problem than they originally thought,” Liska said. “But I think behind the scenes, this is a lot more than they probably anticipated.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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