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Ransomware-hit software firm says servers restored

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The ransomware-hit US IT firm Kaseya said it had fully restored its servers after an attack that affected hundreds of businesses and organizations worldwide./AFP
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Jul 13, 2021 - 05:49 AM

WASHINGTON — A US software firm said Monday it fully restored its servers more than a week after being hit by a ransomware attack that crippled hundreds of companies worldwide.

The Miami-based IT firm Kaseya said it had fully restored its signature VSA software operations, which are used to manage networks of computers and printers.

“The restoration of services is now complete,” the company’s update said, following several days of delays and partial restoration over the weekend.

“We will continue to post updates on the patch rollout progress and server status.”

The news comes following what some analysts said could have been the biggest recorded “ransomware” attack — an increasingly lucrative form of digital hostage-taking, in which hackers encrypt victims’ data and then demand money for restored access.

The unprecedented attack — which was widely believed to come from a Russia-based hacking group — affected an estimated 1,500 businesses and prompted a ransom demand of $70 million.

The Kaseya attack, which was reported July 2, shut down a major Swedish supermarket chain and ricocheted around the world, impacting businesses in at least 17 countries, from pharmacies to gas stations, as well as dozens of New Zealand kindergartens.

While Kaseya is little known to the public, analysts say it was a ripe target as its software is used by thousands of companies, allowing the hackers to paralyze many businesses with a single blow.

President Joe Biden on Friday once again warned Vladimir Putin to “take action” against ransomware hackers operating from Russia.

It was the same message Biden delivered in person to his Russian counterpart in their first summit meeting in Geneva in June.

The White House has stopped short of blaming Moscow for recent attacks, but has stepped up warnings over Russia’s potential harboring of cybercriminals.

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