A ransomware attack on U.S. software company Kaseya has likely affected between 800 and 1,500 businesses around the world, the company said in a statement on Monday, as the group claiming responsibility for the attacks demands US$70 million in Bitcoin to release user’s data.

Fast facts

  • Cybercrime group REvil, which is linked to Russia, claimed responsibility for the attack, which has severely affected a Swedish supermarket chain and a New Zealand school system, among many others, the BBC reports.
  • The US$70 million ransom is one of the biggest ransomware attacks to date. For comparison, two other well-publicized ransomware attacks this year on the Colonial Pipeline and meatpacker JBS paid roughly US$5 million and US$11 million for return of services, respectively. Authorities were able to trace part of the ransom paid and recover more than US$2.3 million in crypto on behalf of Colonial Pipeline.
  • The total value of cryptocurrency paid to ransomware attacks in 2020 increased 337% over the previous year, to US$406.34 million, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. The same analysis reports US$81.6 million has already been paid to ransomware attacks in 2021, although the real number is likely to be much higher as currently unreported cases become known in time.
  • Forkast.News has previously reported the total number of crypto-related crimes is increasing at a similar rate as well; from 2017 t0 2020, the total number of crypto-related crimes in the U.S. increased by an average of 300% each year. Crypto-related crimes also rose in the U.K. and Australia over the same time frame, though not as dramatically.