Digital Assets: REvil, Russia’s Notorious Ramsomware Gang, Has Vanished
Websites operated by REvil, the reviled Russia-based ransomware group, suddenly went dark on Tuesday night.
Did REvil up-and-leave on its own after the heat simply got too much? Will it reband again with another name? Did Mr. Biden carry through on his threat to Putin that the U.S. will take “any action” to combat the persistent hack attacks on U.S. entities? Or, did Putin have a change of heart and pull the plug on REvil? These questions are all unanswered. (The New York Times)
REvil masterminded the JBS attack
U.S. intelligence agencies pinned the blame for the June attack on JBS, one of America’s largest beef producers, on REvil. JBS was reported to have paid $11 million as ransom to REvil.
Mr. Biden took up the issue of the hack attacks on US entities with Russian president Putin in Geneva last month.
Undeterred, REvil followed up the JBS job with another hack on thousands of US businesses on, of all days, the July 4 holiday.
That led Mr. Biden to issue a telephonic ultimatum to Putin.
It is possible, therefore, that the increasingly heated exchange between two of the most powerful people in the world may have unnerved the cyber-actors enough for them to pack their bags.
Another possibility is that Mr Biden may have authorized a US agency to take down REvil’s servers. Most likely, this would be the United States Cyber Command who would work in tandem with US law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, to do the needful.
According to the New York Times, another theory exists – Putin himself may have ordered action against the criminals, in conciliation to Mr Biden and their discussions in Geneva.
Lastly, it is possible REvil may have decided to lie low for a while considering the rising political temperature.
Victims left in the lurch?
However, in the whole circus, the REvil actors may have disappeared with their ill-gotten gains, leaving an untold number of victims with encrypted and locked systems and missing data.
These people have no means now to even pay the ransom the gang may have demanded.
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