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Kaseya denies ransomware payment since it hails ‘100% effective’decryption tool
Kaseya has denied rumors that it paid a ransom to the REvil cybercrime gang since 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 trying to restore the environments of impacted organizations with the help of anti-malware experts Emsisoft.
The update sparked speculation regarding 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 absolutely was 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, that has reportedly granted organizations use of the decryptor contingent on signing a non-disclosure agreement, addressed rumors so 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 could be further from our goal. While each company must make its decision on whether to cover 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’re confirming in no uncertain terms that Kaseya didn’t 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 which were fully encrypted in the attack&rdquo ;.
It added: “We continue to provide the decryptor world market darknet – http://prahacom.cz/user/profile/1672342 to customers that request it, and we encourage all our customers whose data may have been encrypted throughout the attack to touch base to your contacts at Kaseya&rdquo ;.
The other day, 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 can be acquired as an add-on for Kaseya VSA, not to expose the service to the web until a patch was released.
Also the other day, Huntress Labs released a post speculating on why the compromise of 60 upstream, managed service provider customers via a fake software update hadn’t had even more calamitous consequences.
Dismissing the indisputable fact 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 bigger impact might invite government intervention?”
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