National Security

Hacker Gang Demands Largest Ransom Ever In Latest Attack

(Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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The Eastern European hacker gang REvil is demanding a record $70 million in Bitcoin as ransom in one of the largest cyber-attacks in history.

REvil hacked the software provider Kaseya over the weekend, impacting up to 1,500 businesses, the company confirmed Monday. The ransomware gang, which is also responsible for the June hack of the JBS meatpacking company, is demanding $70 million in exchange for a decryption key that would unlock Kaseya’s data, CNN reported.

“Our global teams are working around the clock to get our customers back up and running,” Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said Tuesday. We understand that every second they are shut down, it impacts their livelihood, which is why we’re working feverishly to get this resolved.”

Voccola told Reuters he would not “comment on anything to do with negotiating with terrorists.”

Kaseya provides network management and information technology (IT) software to its clients.

The cybersecurity blog Privacy Sharks noted that the $70 million request was the largest in history. The insurance company CNA Financial paid $40 million to hackers after a March ransomware attack.

Ransomware attacks often use spam emails to hack and lock up a victim’s computer files, according to the McAfee computer security company. Hackers then require the victims to pay them in order to release the files.

President Joe Biden said on Sunday that he was “direct[ing] the full resources of the government to assist in the response” to the hacking, although he would not confirm whether or not he believed the hackers had ties to Russian intelligence. (RELATED: White House Urges Business Leaders To Implement Prevention Plan As Ransomware Attacks Continue)

Hackers, including REvil, have grown more brazen in their ransomware attempts in recent months. The JBS meatpacking company, the Colonial Pipeline, and a government tech vendor were all hacked in June.