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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.

Author

  • Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

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Business

2500 employees to be stood down from Qantas

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About 2500 frontline Qantas and Jetstar employees will be stood down for two months

BREAKING NEWS

It comes as the airline struggles to deal with lockdowns in states across Australia.

The national carrier says the stand-down is a temporary measure to deal with a drop in flying caused by COVID restrictions in Sydney, – which is its home base.

No job losses are expected as part of the move.

QANTAS CEO ALAN JOYCE

In a statement, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says:

“This is clearly the last thing we want to do, but we’re now faced with an extended period of reduced flying and that means no work for a number of our people.”

“We’ve absorbed a significant amount of cost since these recent lockdowns started and continued paying our people their full rosters despite thousands of cancelled flights.“

Qantas said it welcomed the targeted Federal Government support offered for those stood down outside of declared hotspots and to retain domestic aviation capability.

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Business

Outside the square – Twitter CEO’s grand plans for Afterpay

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Jack Dorsey has used Square’s quarterly earnings call to outline his company’s future and convince shareholders to support the $39billion dollar Afterpay takeover bid

Dorsey believes bringing Afterpay into business operations will increase e-commerce activity across both platforms and further entice young shoppers to spend up.

It plans to takeover Afterpay in a deal that values the Australian company at $39 billion. That makes it the biggest buyout deal so far in Australian corporate history.

The Twitter founder says Afterpay has a unique advantage in the buy now, pay later sector because it was the first on the scene and it has been built up “authentically”.

SQAURE WILL ACQUIRE AFTERPAY IN A 39 BILLION DOLLAR DEAL

Dorsey says Afterpay was “extremely early in this space and helped define a lot of it, and really raised the bar for what everyone else doing – we were impressed by the vision, the ambition and the entrepreneurship”.

Following the takeover announcement, Square’s shares fell by 5 percent when compared with trading on Friday, as investors made sense of the deal.

However, after Dorsey’s pitch at the quarterly earnings call, Squares shares were up 6 percent from Friday.

It comes as shareholders voice their concerns that Square is failing to bring merchants and retail users together… and questioning how Afterpay will create value for the company.

James Whelan of VFS Group weighed in on whether Afterpay is in fact authentic.

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Business

‘Jungle Cruise’ tallies $34.2 million in domestic debut, reaches Disney+ record

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After Disney struggled during the past few weeks, the studios latest feature film “Jungle Cruise” opened to $61 million dollars worldwide.

The film was also released on Disney Plus’ Premier Access and brought in over $30 million globally on the platform.

Overall, the film, which is based on the beloved Disney theme park ride, notched more than $90 million.

The “Jungle Cruise” opening is also notable because it comes just a few days after Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney.

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  • Jack is a journalist and producer at Ticker NEWS. He's previously worked for digital media publications in Australia and the US. Jack is particularly interested in reporting on international affairs and sport.

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