As many as 1,500 merchants worldwide were victims of the recent ransomware attack

The chief administrative officer of U.S. information technology company Kaseya says a recent ransom attack against the company has affected 800 to 1,500 companies worldwide.

Voccola (Fred Voccola) declined to say in an interview Monday (July 5, 2021) whether he paid or agreed to pay the ransom demand made by the hackers.

Last Friday (July 2), Florida-based Kaseya was hit by a ransom and attack that affected hundreds of companies. kaseya said at the time that fewer than 60 of its companies’ customers were directly affected by the attack. But analysts say Kaseya’s customers provide information technology outsourcing services to a much larger number of businesses, so the ransom attack had a ripple effect that actually affected more than a few hundred businesses.

The hacker group claiming to have launched the attack is demanding a $70 million ransom to recover the business data of all affected businesses.

President Biden has ordered an investigation into the attack using the full range of government resources.

In a statement Sunday (July 4, 2021), White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger said the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Directorate are working and coordinating with the vendor of the Kaseya software that was attacked to provide assistance to businesses that were collaterally affected.

Brett Callow, a ransomware expert at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, said he did not know if a ransomware supply chain attack of this magnitude had occurred before.

The Russian-based REvil group appears to be behind the attack, according to cybersecurity firm Huntress Labs. The FBI blames the group for a ransom attack on JBS, a major global meat processor, in May of this year.

Cyber experts say it can be difficult for small businesses to defend themselves against this type of attack because they “rely on the security of their vendors and the software those vendors use.