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Kaseya denies ransomware payment as it hails ‘100% effective’decryption tool
Kaseya has denied rumors so it paid a ransom to the REvil cybercrime gang since it continues to roll out a decryptor to victims of a recently available ransomware attack.
The software supply chain attack, which began on July 2, is believed to possess affected up to 1,500 organizations via the hack of IT management platform Kaseya VSA.
Kaseya revealed on July 22 that it had obtained a decryption tool from a “third party” and was attempting to restore the environments of impacted organizations with the aid of anti-malware experts Emsisoft.
The update sparked speculation regarding the identity of the unnamed 3rd party, with Allan Liska of Recorded Future’s CSIRT team positing a disgruntled REvil affiliate, the Russian government, or that Kaseya themselves had paid the ransom.
The theory that the universal decryptor key became available due to law enforcement action was strengthened on July 13 once the dark web domains associated with REvil abruptly went offline.
However, some experts also said it had been likely that this is a prelude to REvil, whose other notable scalps include Travelex and meat supplier JBS, rebranding itself in a bid to dodge law enforcement.
The cybercrime outfit was believed to have initially demanded a payment of $70 million from Kaseya, before lowering the price tag to $50 million.
Kaseya, which has reportedly granted organizations usage of the decryptor contingent on signing a non-disclosure agreement, addressed rumors that it had paid a ransom in a statement yesterday (July 26):
Recent reports have suggested our continued silence on whether Kaseya paid the ransom may encourage additional ransomware attacks, but nothing could possibly be further from our goal. While each company must make its own decision on whether to cover the ransom, Kaseya decided after consultation with experts to not negotiate with the criminals who perpetrated this attack and we’ve not wavered from that commitment. Therefore, we are confirming in no uncertain terms that Kaseya did not pay a ransom – either directly or indirectly through an alternative party – to obtain the decryptor.
Kaseya stated that “the decryption tool has proven 100% good at decrypting files that have been fully encrypted in the attack&rdquo ;.
It added: “We continue to supply the decryptor to customers that request it, and we encourage all our customers whose data may have been encrypted during the attack to touch base to your contacts at Kaseya&rdquo ;.
A week ago, meanwhile, security researchers from the organization that unearthed the zero-day Kaseya vulnerabilities exploited by REvil disclosed a trio of additional zero-day flaws in another Kaseya product.
The Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure (DIVD) advised users of cloud-based Kaseya Unitrends, which is available as an add-on for Kaseya VSA, never to expose the service to the internet until a patch was released.
Also the other day, Huntress Labs released a blog post speculating on why the compromise of 60 upstream, managed company customers via a fake software update hadn’t had a lot more calamitous consequences.
Dismissing the proven fact that Kaseya’s system shutdown was the principal reason, security researcher John Hammond pondered, World market onion (http://www.lecalabrie.org/forums/users/rhecalvin475489/ – http://www.lecalabrie.org/forums/users/rhecalvin475489/) among other potential reasons, whether threat actors had learned “from previous incidents (like Colonial Pipeline) that a much bigger impact might invite government intervention?”
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