The largest cryptocurrency ransomware attack has been added to the books. Russian hacking group REvil has allegedly encrypted the data of more than 1,000 firms and companies in nations such as the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand. To release the data, the organization is requesting more than $70 million in bitcoin.
REvil Is Going After Other Countries’ Infrastructures
Situations like these have grown relatively common in recent days, with another big example having occurred just last month. That incident involved the Colonial Pipeline. All data was encrypted for a period and the hackers responsible for the incident were requesting millions in BTC. However, that situation saw a happy end in that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was able to intercede and prevent payment.
This time, however, the stakes are considerably higher, as REvil has gained control of a multitude of enterprises including schools and several software firms. The organization put out the following message after obtaining the data in question:
We launched an attack on MSP providers. More than a million systems were infected. If anyone wants to negotiate about universal decyrptor – our price is $70,000,000 in BTC and we will publish publicly decryptor.
While some figures – such as Allan Liska of the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future – are certain that Russia and REvil are to blame, Joe Biden of the U.S. says he is not so sure. In a recent interview, Biden commented:
We are not sure it is the Russians. I directed the intelligence community to give me a deep dive on what has happened, and I will know better tomorrow. If it is either with the knowledge of and/ or a consequence of Russia, then I told Putin we will respond.
Biden Continues to Talk Tough
Several Republicans in Congress as of late are taking jabs at Biden’s approach to Russia, claiming that he is “weak” when it comes to leader Vladimir Putin. In a recent meeting with the Russian president, Biden provided him with a list of approximately 16 firms in the United States that were allegedly “off limits” to the country’s hackers. He later told reporters:
I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructure should be off-limits to attack – period – by cyber or any other means. I gave them a list – 16 specific entities; 16 defined as critical infrastructure under US policy, from the energy sector to our water systems.
The situation is almost funny in that Biden and Democrats, for the past several years, have been touting Russia as a nation to be feared. Thus, if the country is as dangerous as they claim, there is little likelihood that Russia would avoid these 16 industries. Rather, all that seems to have happened is that Biden gave an alleged enemy of the United States information on 16 of its “weak points,” thereby giving Russia specific targets to attack.