Ransomware hits hundreds of US companies, security firm says

Kaseya urged customers in a statement on its website to immediately shut down servers running the affected software. (Shutterstock)
Kaseya urged customers in a statement on its website to immediately shut down servers running the affected software. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 03 July 2021

Ransomware hits hundreds of US companies, security firm says

Kaseya urged customers in a statement on its website to immediately shut down servers running the affected software. (Shutterstock)
  • The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a statement late Friday that it is closely monitoring the situation and working with the FBI to collect more information about its impact

WASHINGTON: A ransomware attack paralyzed the networks of at least 200 US companies on Friday, according to a cybersecurity researcher whose company was responding to the incident.
The REvil gang, a major Russian-speaking ransomware syndicate, appears to be behind the attack, said John Hammond of the security firm Huntress Labs. He said the criminals targeted a software supplier called Kaseya, using its network-management package as a conduit to spread the ransomware through cloud-service providers. Other researchers agreed with Hammond’s assessment.
“Kaseya handles large enterprise all the way to small businesses globally, so ultimately, (this) has the potential to spread to any size or scale business,” Hammond said in a direct message on Twitter. “This is a colossal and devastating supply chain attack.”
Such cyberattacks typically infiltrate widely used software and spread malware as it updates automatically.
It was not immediately clear how many Kaseya customers might be affected or who they might be. Kaseya urged customers in a statement on its website to immediately shut down servers running the affected software. It said the attack was limited to a “small number” of its customers.
Brett Callow, a ransomware expert at the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, said he was unaware of any previous ransomware supply-chain attack on this scale. There have been others, but they were fairly minor, he said.
“This is SolarWinds with ransomware,” he said. He was referring to a Russian cyberespionage hacking campaign discovered in December that spread by infecting network management software to infiltrate US federal agencies and scores of corporations.
Cybersecurity researcher Jake Williams, president of Rendition Infosec, said he was already working with six companies hit by the ransomware. It’s no accident that this happened before the Fourth of July weekend, when IT staffing is generally thin, he added.
“There’s zero doubt in my mind that the timing here was intentional,” he said.
Hammond of Huntress said he was aware of four managed-services providers — companies that host IT infrastructure for multiple customers — being hit by the ransomware, which encrypts networks until the victims pay off attackers. He said thousand of computers were hit.
“We currently have three Huntress partners who are impacted with roughly 200 businesses that have been encrypted,” Hammond said.
Hammond wrote on Twitter: “Based on everything we are seeing right now, we strongly believe this (is) REvil/Sodinikibi.” The FBI linked the same ransomware provider to a May attack on JBS SA, a major global meat processer.
The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a statement late Friday that it is closely monitoring the situation and working with the FBI to collect more information about its impact.
CISA urged anyone who might be affected to “follow Kaseya’s guidance to shut down VSA servers immediately.” Kaseya runs what’s called a virtual system administrator, or VSA, that’s used to remotely manage and monitor a customer’s network.
The privately held Kaseya says it is based in Dublin, Ireland, with a US headquarters in Miami. The Miami Herald recently described it as “one of Miami’s oldest tech companies” in a report about its plans to hire as many as 500 workers by 2022 to staff a recently acquired cybersecurity platform.


Indian crypto unicorn plans IPO

Indian crypto unicorn plans IPO
Updated 29 sec ago

Indian crypto unicorn plans IPO

Indian crypto unicorn plans IPO

RIYADH: India's first unicorn cryptocurrency, CoinDCX, plans to list on the stock market  as soon as government regulations allow.

The share sale will be a major vote of confidence in India's digital asset industry, similar to the Coinbase listing earlier this year, co-founder Neeraj Khandelwal said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

“As soon as the government or wider situation allows us, we will try for an IPO (initial public offering),” he said.

“An IPO gives legitimacy to the industry, just like the Coinbase IPO gave a lot of confidence in the crypto markets. Similarly we want to instill a similar level of confidence with an IPO of CoinDCX.”

Khandelwal said the company will decide an exact timeline depending on the incoming government regulations.

“We certainly will look at that in order to grow the industry further,” he added.


TASI closes 0.2% higher at 10,811 points

TASI closes 0.2% higher at 10,811 points
Updated 22 min 35 sec ago

TASI closes 0.2% higher at 10,811 points

TASI closes 0.2% higher at 10,811 points

RIYADH: The Saudi stock market ended the session on Monday up 0.2 percent, or 23 points, to close at 10,811 points.

Some 189 million shares changed hands in 355,000 deals, with heavy trading in Al Rajhi bank, Alinma Bank, SABIC. 

Saudi Enaya and Amana Insurance were among the top gainers.

Saudi Kayan, Advanced and Petrochem also rose by between 3 and 6 percent. 

The market's increase today was also influenced by a 0.9 percent rise in Al Rajhi bank shares, while Riyad bank rose by 1.9 percent to SR135 ($36). SABIC Agri-Nutrients was up by 4.45 percent. 

Baazeem and Maadaniyah were the top fallers, losing more than 6 percent.

Saudi Basic Industries declined 1 percent to close at SR111.20.

Savola, Almarai, eXtra and Al Kathiri fell between 1 and 3 percent.

Qassim Cement closed at SR77.90, down 1 percent after the end of the eligibility for cash dividends.

The parallel Nomu index was down 42.3 points, or 0.19 percent, closing at 22,331.94 points after traded 2.7 million shares. 


Indonesia needs additional $148bn to limit carbon emissions 

Indonesia needs additional $148bn to limit carbon emissions 
Updated 29 November 2021

Indonesia needs additional $148bn to limit carbon emissions 

Indonesia needs additional $148bn to limit carbon emissions 

RIYADH: Indonesia will need an additional funding of $148 billion to meet its goal of curbing carbon emissions in 2030, Bloomberg reported.

The southeast Asian country needs a total of $365 billion in green investments to cut emissions by 29 percent, head of Fiscal Policy Agency, Febrio Kacaribu, said in a briefing. 

Of the total amount needed, $97 billion is to come from the government, while $120 billion to come from planned private investments. 

Indonesia could reduce emissions by 41 percent with “concrete” international help, Kacaribu added.


Nissan to spend $17.6bn over five years to accelerate vehicle electrification

Nissan to spend $17.6bn over five years to accelerate vehicle electrification
Updated 29 November 2021

Nissan to spend $17.6bn over five years to accelerate vehicle electrification

Nissan to spend $17.6bn over five years to accelerate vehicle electrification

RIYADH: Nissan Motor Co. plans to spend 2 trillion yen ($17.59 billion) over the next five years to accelerate vehicle electrification.

The new electrification strategy, called Nissan Ambition 2030, is a roadmap on how the company plans to meet its goals by the end of the decade, according to Bloomberg.

The Japanese automaker will launch 23 new electrified models by 2030, including 15 new electric vehicles.

Nissan has been ramping up its EV ambitions and announced plans to build a $1.4 billion hub to manufacture battery-powered cars in the UK. 

The Yokohama-based carmaker plans to further increase its global battery production capacity to 130 gigawatt-hours by 2030.

It will launch an EV equipped with a solid-state battery by 2028, the company said.

By 2024, a pilot plant for solid-state batteries will be operational in Yokohama, with mass production expected to start by 2028. 

According to Nissan, next-generation batteries are key to achieving cost parity between EV and gasoline vehicles. 

Over the next decade, global EV sales are projected to rise above 10 million a year from around 1 million today. 

Nissan also plans for EVs to account for more than 75 percent of sales in Europe, 55 percent in Japan, and 40 percent in China by 2026.

It plans to have EVs reach 40 percent of sales in the US in 2030. 


Aramco to spend $68bn to develop its giant Jafurah gas field

Aramco to spend $68bn to develop its giant Jafurah gas field
Updated 29 November 2021

Aramco to spend $68bn to develop its giant Jafurah gas field

Aramco to spend $68bn to develop its giant Jafurah gas field

Dhahran: Aramco is spending $68 billion to develop its giant unconventional gas field Jafurah, the company's CEO said in media briefing at the firm's headquarter in Dhahran. 

Responding to Arab News' question on the cost of the project, Amin Nasser stated that the first phase will cost $24 billion and will be completed by end if 2024, early 2025.

The second phase, he added, will cost $44 billion and will add up to 2 billion standard cubic feet per day of sales gas, and around 600,000 barrels per day of condensates — a very light type crude oil.