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 as it continues to roll out a decryptor to victims of a recently available ransomware attack.
The application supply chain attack, which began on July 2, world market darknet (www.myanmar2worldwide.com) is believed to have 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 the “third party” and was trying to restore the environments of impacted organizations with the aid 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 theory that the universal decryptor key became available because of police 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 was 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 own initially demanded a payment of $70 million from Kaseya, before lowering the asking price to $50 million.
Kaseya, which has reportedly granted organizations access to the decryptor contingent on signing a non-disclosure agreement, addressed rumors so it had paid a ransom in a record yesterday (July 26):
Recent reports have suggested which 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 a unique decision on whether to pay the ransom, Kaseya decided after consultation with experts never to negotiate with the criminals who perpetrated this attack and we’ve not wavered from that commitment. As such, we are confirming in no uncertain terms that Kaseya did not pay a ransom – either directly or indirectly through an alternative party – to acquire the decryptor.
Kaseya said that “the decryption tool has proven 100% capable of decrypting files that were fully encrypted in the attack&rdquo ;.
It added: “We continue to provide the decryptor to customers that request it, and we encourage all our customers whose data may have been encrypted during the attack to reach out to your contacts at Kaseya&rdquo ;.
The other day, 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 acquired as an add-on for Kaseya VSA, not to expose the service to the net until a patch was released.
Also a week ago, Huntress Labs released a blog post speculating on why the compromise of 60 upstream, managed service provider customers with a fake software update hadn’t had much more calamitous consequences.
Dismissing the idea that Kaseya’s system shutdown was the principal reason, security researcher John Hammond pondered, among other potential reasons, whether threat actors had learned “from previous incidents (like Colonial Pipeline) that a bigger impact might invite government intervention?”