Biden Orders Probe into Massive Ransomware Attack that hit USA

Anshika Tiwari –

US President Joe Biden has directed the Intelligence Agencies of the US to investigate who was behind the sophisticated ransomware attack that hit hundreds of American Businesses on Friday. 

The hackers hijacked the widely used technology management software from a Miami-based supplier called Kaseya. They changed a desktop management tool called VSA, which the Companies used to manage technology at smaller businesses. 

They then encrypted the files of those providers’, customers, simultaneously pushing a malicious update that infected tech management providers which served thousands of businesses.

The impacted businesses not just had their files encrypted but also saw electronic messages asking for ransom payments of thousands or millions of dollars.

According to what cybersecurity firm Huntress Labs said in a Reddit forum,

 “The software was manipulated to encrypt more than 1,000 companies”.

 Suspicions of Russian Ransomware gang REvil of being involved in the attack are being raised. However, there has been no confirmation on this yet. “we’re not certain” who is behind the attack, Biden Replied on being asked.

“The initial thinking was it was not the Russian government but we’re not sure yet,” he said. He clarified that the US Intelligence Agencies are investigating and USA will respond if the outcome of the investigation says Russia is at blame. 

Earlier this year, during the Geneva summit on June 16, Biden had urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on cyber hackers emanating from Russia and warned of consequences if such ransomware attacks continued to proliferate.

“If it is either with the knowledge of and/or a consequence of Russia then I told Putin we will respond,” says Biden, citing what he told Putin in the summit. 

Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist labelled the attack as “Very Dangerous” while speaking to the Swedish television. He also stressed the need for businesses and state agencies to increase and revamp their level of preparedness to deal with such attacks in future. 

The attack evoked a multitude of reactions throughout the US, with some experts saying that the attack was perfectly timed over a long US holiday weekend, so that it could spread swiftly, while employees were away from their jobs. 

“We have been troubleshooting and restoring all night, but have communicated that we will need to keep the stores closed today,” told Therese Knapp (Spokesperson of Sweden’s biggest grocery chains Coop) to the Swedish television.  

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