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Russian ‘REvil gang’ hackers demands $70M Bitcoin ransom payout

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The group behind the recent Kaseya cyber attack is asking for a $70M ransom in Bitcoin for a ‘universal decryptor’ key

The Russian hacking group REvil has published a blog post on the dark web taking credit for the audacious cyber attack on MSP providers in the US which they claim affected over a million systems.

They also called on ‘anyone willing to negotiate’ for a ‘universal decryptor’, offering to list the key publicly if someone pays the ransom.

“Everyone will be able to recover from the attack in less than an hour,” the post read.

John Hammond from Huntress Labs Inc sent this screenshot of the blog post in a direct Twitter message to Ticker reporters.

Will the companies pay the ransom?

The general advice from cyber-security experts is to not pay hackers to retrieve their data, because it encourages future attacks.

However, John Hammond from Huntress Labs doesn’t believe the situation is so simple. The cybersecurity firm Huntress Labs Inc is leading the investigation into the attack.

“This is an extremely intricate and tough situation,” he said in a private Twitter message to Ticker reporters.

“You have to make the decision that is best for your business,” he said.

The Kaseya cyber attack

The attack targeted more than 20 managed service providers (MSP). Yesterday, Huntress Labs anticipated the hack had affected more than 1000 businesses, which expectations that the figure would grow based on reports from the providers and a Reddit thread tracking the hack.

“It’s reasonable to think this could potentially be impacting thousands of small businesses,” tweeted John Hammond from Huntress Labs. Hammond says the attack targeted a software supplier called Kaseya.

Biden has sinced called for US intelligence to conduct a “deep dive” into the attacks. “We’re not sure it’s the Russians,” he said. “The initial thinking was, it was not the Russian government, but we’re not sure yet.”

Sweden closes up shop

Another victim of the attack is Sweden, which has seen around 500 supermarkets unable to trade.

Coop Sweden has closed half of its 800 stores after its point-of-sale tills and self-service checkouts stopped working just before the weekend.

The supermarket itself was not targeted by hackers. However, because it uses on of the affected MSPs it too has fallen victim to the attack.

Cybersecurity becomes and international security issue

This comes as the latest in a string of ransomware attacks in recent months, including the attack on JBS. Experts have also attributed the JBS attack to the REvil cyber gang.

It also comes shortly after President Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen cybersecurity defences across the US.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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Big tech stocks tumble amid market uncertainty

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Big tech companies are struggling in the markets this quarter as interest rates rise to battle inflation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has devalued tech stocks causing further supply chain disruptions and sending the broad S&P 500 index down about 5 per cent.

Rising interest rates triggered more severe plummets with the S&P dropping another 16 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite index by 22 per cent.

Tesla’s stock took a huge hit sinking to nearly 38 per cent its largest decline since 2010.

Amazon saw similar results falling by 35 per cent the most in over 20 years.

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Business

Google to pay millions to app developers

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App developers are accusing Google of tempting users into making in-app purchases.

The lawsuit relates to money that was made by app creators for Android smartphones.

The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco court, where the 48,000 app developers are believed to have been affected.

“Following our win against Apple for similar conduct, we think this pair of settlements sends a strong message to big tech: the law is watching, and even the most powerful companies in the world are accountable when they stifle competition.”

Steve Berman, ATTORNEY FOR the Android developers.

Google says the settlement’s funds will support developers who have made less than USD $2 million in revenue between 2016 and 2021.

“A vast majority of U.S. developers who earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund, if they choose,” the company says.

Google says it will charge developers a 15 per cent commission on their first million in revenue.

The court is yet to approve the proposed settlement.

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Business

Tesla deliveries expected to fall – here’s why

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Tesla deliveries are expected to drop significantly in the second quarter, as prolonged Covid lockdowns in China and supply chain issues take their toll

The company is also struggling to ramp up its new factories, with Tesla boss Elon Musk seemingly distracted by his very public pursuit of Twitter.

Tesla has been plagued by production glitches in China and slow output growth at new factories in both Texas and Berlin.

Experts predict deliveries will slump to just over 295,000 vehicles for the second quarter.

This would be down from the company’s record of 310,000 in the preceding quarter, marking Tesla’s first quarter-on-quarter decline since 2020.

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