Kaseya denies ransomware payment as it hails ‘100% effective’decryption tool
Kaseya has denied rumors that it paid a ransom to the REvil cybercrime gang because it continues to roll out a decryptor to victims of a recent ransomware attack.
The application supply chain attack, which began on July 2, is believed to possess affected as much as 1,500 organizations via the hack of IT management platform Kaseya VSA.
Kaseya revealed on July 22 so it had obtained a decryption tool from a “third party” and was working to restore the environments of impacted organizations with the help of anti-malware experts Emsisoft.
The update sparked speculation regarding identity of the unnamed third 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 idea that the universal decryptor world market darknet (www.qtellclassifiedads.com) key became available as a result of police force action was strengthened on July 13 once the dark web domains associated with REvil abruptly went offline.
However, some experts also said it was 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, that has reportedly granted organizations use 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 that our continued silence on whether Kaseya paid the ransom may encourage additional ransomware attacks, but nothing might be further from our goal. While each company must make its decision on whether to cover the ransom, Kaseya decided after consultation with experts not to negotiate with the criminals who perpetrated this attack and we’ve not wavered from that commitment. As such, we’re confirming in no uncertain terms that Kaseya didn’t pay a ransom – either directly or indirectly through a third party – to acquire the decryptor.
Kaseya said that “the decryption tool has proven 100% effective at decrypting files that have been fully encrypted in the attack&rdquo ;.
It added: “We continue to offer the decryptor to customers that request it, and we encourage all our customers whose data could have been encrypted during the attack to touch base to your contacts at Kaseya&rdquo ;.
Last week, meanwhile, security researchers from the business 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 can be obtained as an add-on for Kaseya VSA, to not expose the service to the web until a patch was released.
Also the other day, Huntress Labs released a article speculating on why the compromise of 60 upstream, managed company customers via a fake software update hadn’t had even more calamitous consequences.
Dismissing the idea that Kaseya’s system shutdown was the primary reason, security researcher John Hammond pondered, among other potential reasons, whether threat actors had learned “from previous incidents (like Colonial Pipeline) that a much larger impact might invite government intervention?”