The hacker gang behind an international crime spree that played out over the Fourth of July weekend says it has locked more than a million individual devices and is demanding $70 million in bitcoin to set them all free in one swoop.
The gang, the Russia-connected REvil, is best known for previously having hacked JBS, one of the world’s largest meat suppliers, briefly halting its operations across much of North America. But this attack’s potential scope is unprecedented, some cybersecurity experts said.
REvil began its spree Friday by compromising Kaseya, a software company that helps companies manage basic software updates. Because many of Kaseya’s customers are companies that manage internet services for other businesses, the number of victims grew quickly. Instead of locking an individual organization, as ransomware gangs usually do, REvil locked each victim computer as a standalone target and initially asked for $45,000 to unlock each one. President Joe Biden told reporters Sunday that he has “directed the full resources” of the government toward investigating the problem.