In Today's Issue: Cybercriminals Demand $70 Million to Restore Network Data

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The story

🍊 Hackers are demanding $70 million to restore the data they are holding for ransom. Hundreds of businesses around the world were affected. REvil hackers made the demand over the weekend. That's according to Reuters.

 

The latest hack is one of the most serious of many big hacks.  Many of them are believed to be linked to Russia. REvil is linked to Russia. It is one of the most active cyberhacking groups in the world.

 

The attack didn't just affect those in the US. The attack caused computer malfunctions around the globe. Kaseya, a Miami-based information technology firm, was the target. So, for example, one of its clients is in Sweden. That client is a chain of grocery stores. The chain was forced to close 80 stores. The hack took down its cash registers. 

 

The attack also comes shortly after a summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden warned Putin that there would be consequences if such attacks continue. 

 

Biden said he has "directed the full resources of the government to investigate this
incident.” Biden urged US businesses to strengthen their cyber defenses.

🍊 Hackers are demanding $70 million to restore the data they are holding for ransom. Hundreds of businesses around the world were affected. REvil made the demand over the weekend, according to Reuters.

 

The latest hack is one of the most serious. This, though, is not the first big attack on US business and government entities. Many of the hacks are believed to be linked to Russia. REvil is considered one of the most active cyberhacking groups in the world.

 

The attack didn't just affect those in the US. Kaseya, who was hacked, is a Miami based information technology firm. The company has over a thousand clients all over the world. The breach into Kaseya’s client data quickly led to computer malfunctions around the globe. For example, a grocery chain in Sweden uses its services. The chain was forced to close 80 stores. The hack took down its cash registers. Kaseya has not commented.

 

The attack also comes shortly after a highly publicized summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden warned Putin that there would be consequences if such attacks on Western computer networks continue. 

 

Biden said he has "directed the full resources of the government to investigate this incident.” Biden urged US businesses to strengthen their cyber defenses.

Hackers believed to be responsible for a mass 🍊 cyberattack affecting hundreds of businesses worldwide are demanding $70 million to restore the data they are holding for ransom. REvil, a cybercrime gang linked to Russia, made the demand on one of its so-called “dark” sites over the weekend, according to Reuters.

 

The latest hack is one of the most serious in a seemingly never-ending spate of such attacks on American business and government entities. Many of the hacks are believed to originate in Russia. REvil is considered one of the most active cyberhacking groups in the world.

 

Kaseya, a Miami-based informational technology firm, was the victim of this attack. The breach into Kaseya’s client data quickly led to computer malfunctions around the globe. For example, a grocery chain in Sweden was forced to close 80 stores. The hack took down its cash registers. Kaseya has not commented about the cyberattack.

 

The attack also comes shortly after a highly publicized summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Before and during the meeting, Biden warned Putin that there would be repercussions if such attacks on Western computer networks continue.

 

Biden said in a statement that he has "directed the full resources of the government to investigate this incident.” Biden urged US businesses to implement measures to strengthen their cyber defenses.

Hackers believed to be responsible for a mass 🍊 cyberattack, affecting hundreds of businesses worldwide, are demanding $70 million to restore the data they are holding for ransom. REvil, a cybercrime gang linked to Russia, made the demand on one of its so-called “dark” sites over the weekend, according to Reuters.

 

The latest hack is one of the most serious in a seemingly never-ending spate of such attacks on American business and government entities. Many of the hacks are believed to originate in Russia. REvil is considered one of the most active cyberhacking groups in the world.

 

Kaseya, a Miami-based informational technology firm, was the victim of this attack. The breach into Kaseya’s client data quickly caused computer malfunctions around the globe. For example, a grocery chain in Sweden was forced to close 80 stores because the hack took down cash registers. Kaseya has not commented about the incident.

 

The attack also comes shortly after a highly publicized summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Before and during the meeting, Biden warned Putin that there would be repercussions if such attacks on Western computer networks continue. 

 

Biden said in a statement that he has "directed the full resources of the government to investigate this incident.” Amid the surge in attacks, Biden urged US businesses to implement measures to strengthen their cyber defenses.

What is cyberwarfare or a cyberattack?

Cyberwarfare is loosely defined as a digital attack against a nation that disrupts or completely disables a vital computer network. Such an attack is usually against that nation’s government systems and is usually carried out or subsidized by another nation-state or actor. Some security experts also regard cyberwarfare as a computer attack against private entities that play a major role in that nation’s infrastructure, such as an energy utility or a food production company. It’s] becoming increasingly common for cybercriminals to attack private systems and demand hefty ransom payments to restore working data.

 

What kinds of cyberweapons are used?

  • Computer viruses, phishing, computer worms, and malware that can take down critical infrastructure.
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that prevent legitimate users from accessing targeted computer networks or devices.
  • A man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack that happens when a cybercriminal hacks into a communication channel between two people and eavesdrops on their online exchanges
  • Hacking and theft of critical data from institutions, governments, and businesses
  • Spyware or cyber espionage that results in the theft of information that compromises national security and stability
  • Ransomware that holds control systems or data hostage
  • Propaganda or disinformation campaigns used to cause serious disruption or chaos

 

What are the goals of cyberwarfare?

The goal is usually to “weaken, disrupt, or destroy” another nation, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. To achieve this, cyberattackers can use threats that range from propaganda to espionage to serious disruption of infrastructure, all of which can cause a nation great distress and even loss of life.

 

What country has suffered the most cyberattacks?

The US. From 2006 to 2020, the US experienced at least 156 significant cyberattacks, more than the UK, India, and Germany combined.

 

What are some major cyberattacks?

Bronze Soldier (2007)

After Estonia’s government moved a statue called the Bronze Soldier, a symbol of Soviet Union oppression, from the center of its capital city, Tallinn, to a military cemetery on the city’s outskirts, the country experienced several major cyberattacks to banks, media outlets, and government networks.

 

The Stuxnet Worm (2010)

The Stuxnet Worm was used to attack Iran's nuclear program in what is considered one of the most sophisticated malware attacks in history. The malware targeted Iranian supervisory control and data acquisition systems and was spread with infected Universal Serial Bus (“USB”) devices.

 

DDoS attack in Ukraine (2014)

The Russian government allegedly perpetrated a DDoS attack that disrupted the internet in Ukraine, enabling pro-Russian rebels to take control of Crimea.

 

Sony Pictures (2014)

Hackers connected to the North Korean government were blamed for a cyberattack on Sony Pictures after Sony released “The Interview,” a film that negatively portrayed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. An FBI investigation found that the malware used in the attack included lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks previously used by North Korean hackers.

 

The US Office of Personnel Management (2015)

Cybercriminals backed by the Chinese state were accused of breaching the website of the Personnel Management office and stealing the data of approximately 22 million current and former government employees.

 

US Presidential Election (2016)

The Mueller Report, authorized by the US attorney’s office, concluded that Russia engaged in informational warfare and spread disinformation across US social media in an attempt to disrupt the 2014 and 2016 elections. The report found that Russian disinformation specialists created fake social media accounts and fake interest groups to create havoc within the election process. These activities in 2016 were designed to benefit the candidacy of Donald Trump, the report concluded.

 

How much do ransomware crimes cost companies around the world?

Ransomware crimes are on a steep rise. Damage costs in 2020 were estimated to be about $11.5 billion and could hit $20 billion this year, according to Blackfog, a security firm that tracks such activity. That’s double the damages from as recently as 2015. Full economies suffer even more. It’s estimated that by 2025, cybercrimes will cost the world economy $10.5 trillion per year.

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