US President Joe Biden has not yet been in touch with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the global supply chain attack currently underway. Biden says he is not sure that the Russians are responsible for the attack. There is also radio silence on the subject from the Kremlin.
Supply chain attack causes a large number of victims
We’ve written several posts over the weekend and today about the supply chain attack that has been stirring up controversy. The Russian hacker group REvil managed to infiltrate the corporate network of IT service provider Kaseya. That company supplies software called VSA. This allows system administrators to perform remote maintenance on the computer system and the servers of the company he works for. The hackers abused a zero-day exploit in the VSA software to stealthily penetrate the systems of companies and organizations and install ransomware.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of companies, have been affected. Computers, servers and data are held hostage by this ransomware. Employees cannot log in and do their work. Hundreds of Coop branches in Sweden were forced to close their doors because the cash register systems no longer worked. Several victims have also fallen in our country. Healthcare institutions are being spared for the time being.
REvil posted a message on the dark web on Sunday evening claiming responsibility for the supply chain attack. The hackers are demanding $ 70 million in bitcoin to end the attack. If the money is in REvil’s account, the group will publish a universal decryption key or decryptor to remove the lock. Companies and organizations can get back to work ‘within an hour.
No contact between Washington and Moscow
Hearing left and right we see messages and evidence that REvil is responsible for the supply chain attack. President Biden is not sure. While visiting Michigan’s King Orchards Market last weekend, a reporter asked about the Russian attack. The president replied that he cannot say for sure whether the Russian government is responsible for this. He does say that he has commissioned the FBI and cyber agency CISA to get to the bottom of this.
He is now awaiting the intelligence services’ findings. If it turns out that Russia is behind the supply chain attack, he will contact Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the Kremlin has not received a request from the White House. A spokesperson even said the Russian government is not aware of the global cyber attack, Reuters said.
On Wednesday, June 16, Biden and Putin met in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the topics discussed there are the cyber attacks by Russian hackers on American targets. In an interview with Interfax, President Putin said he was willing to extradite Russian hackers to the US. “But only if the other side agrees to do the same and extradite criminals to the Russian Federation,” Putin said. Russia has historically denied that it has ordered or condoned cyber-attacks.
Supply chain attack almost repulsed by Dutch volunteers
Thanks to the efforts of the Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure (DIVD), the supply chain attack was almost prevented . The group consists of security experts and ethical hackers who voluntarily try to keep the internet safe. Some time ago, DIVD employees found a zero-day exploit in Kaseya’s VSA software. Together with the company, they tried to plug the leak.
“Just before the finish, they [the DIVD volunteers, ed.] were overtaken by the Russian criminals. A handful of volunteers against people who have hundreds of millions at their disposal. Volunteers who have tough jobs during the day,” writes Vrij Nederland about the collaboration. Wietse Boonstra and Frank Breedijk of the DIVD were very disappointed. “If we had had a little more time, we could have done it.”
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