Ransomware Attacks Continue as Hackers Get Paid

Prague extradites Russian hacker to US for alleged cyberattacks
AFP

Yet another massive ransomware attack has taken place as hackers continue to hold valuable systems hostage — receiving millions of dollars in the process.

AP News reports that cybersecurity teams worked quickly on Sunday to limit the impact of the single biggest global ransomware attack on record. The attack was reportedly perpetrated by an affiliate of the notorious REvil hacking group which is best known for extorting $11 million from the meat-processor JBS.

The REvil affiliate reportedly infected thousands of victims in at least 17 countries on Friday, primarily through firms that remotely manage IT infrastructure for multiple customers, cybersecurity researchers said. REvil was demanding ransoms of up to $5 million according to researchers.

But late on Sunday, the group posted to its dark website a universal decryptor software key that would unscramble all affected machines in exchange for $70 million in cryptocurrency. The FBI said in a statement that while it was investigating the attack its scale “may make it so that we are unable to respond to each victim individually.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger issued a statement saying that President Joe Biden had “directed the full resources of the government to investigate this incident” and urged all those affected to contact the FBI.

Morgan Wright, the Chief Security Advisor at SentinelOne and former Senior Advisor of the U.S. State Department and the Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, appeared on Breitbart News Daily recently to speak with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief and host of Breitbart News Daily, Alex Marlow. The key topic of the day was the rise in ransomware attacks and the recent cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

Asking Wright what we currently know about the colonial pipeline hack and what the establishment media may have missed about the situation, Wright stated: “Details are always hard to come by in these things, because it’s the fog of war basically as the investigation unrolls. We do know what publicly has been said but there are some things that we can figure out behind that as well. One is that definitely if they’re not in Russia, they’re definitely linked to Russia, these attackers, because they’re getting air cover from Vladamir Putin.”

Wright continued: “We have criminal gangs operating in countries or regions we have no extradition treaty with, no mutual legal assistance treaties, so we get zero help in investigating these things. The second thing is, this is actually kind of a watershed moment. This is one of the first things where a criminal organization has taken the place of a nation-state in terms of an attack on infrastructure.”

Discussing the motivations of the hackers, Wright said: “I think one of the underreported things about this, and I think it’s a day of reckoning, is the use of cryptocurrency to enable these groups to continue their activities. In other words, if you remove the ability to monetize this, these gangs are out of business because they’re only in it for one reason — to make money. So I think there’ll be a day of reckoning with how countries look at the use of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin.”

Read more at AP News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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