UPDATED 9:37 AM PT – Tuesday, July 6, 2021
A hacker group with ties to Russia is demanding $70 million in Bitcoin to unfreeze computers at as many as 1,500 companies around the world. REvil, the hacker group known for allegedly extorting $11 million from meat supplier JBS over Memorial Day weekend, announced late Sunday night that they will unscramble all the affected devices in return for the ransom.
The CEO of Kaseya, the company primarily effected by the attack, commented on paying the ransom.
“I can’t comment yes, no, or maybe and I’ll tell you, the reason for that is, you know, I’m not an expert in this…I’m not a ransom expert,” stated Fred Voccola. “There are people that do it for a living. We listen to the FBI, we listen to Homeland (Security), we take their advice and the advice is we have absolutely no comment either way.”
Meanwhile, just last month Joe Biden warned president Vladimir Putin to rein in cyber criminals or Russia would face consequences. Despite the Russian-linked criminal group taking responsibility for now the largest ransom attacks in history, federal officials have confirmed the group is not part of or directly financed by the Russian government.
While the FBI has repeatedly issued guidance to companies affected by cyber hacks that they should not pay any ransom, it’s unclear what will happen to the corrupted systems if REvil isn’t paid.