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Ransomware Hackers May Be In Over Their Heads. They May Not Even Get Paid.

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The Russian-speaking gang that set off a chain reaction of ransomware attacks around the globe last Friday might be in a little over its head, experts tell The Daily Beast.

The hackers, known as the REVil ransomware gang, went after Kaseya, a firm which sells software to other companies. By infiltrating Kaseya’s customers—many of which are IT providers—the hackers have also been able to hit those companies’ clients with malicious software that locks them out of their machines unless they pay a ransom. The victims number in the hundreds, if not thousands, according to John Hammond, a senior security researcher at Huntress Labs, which is working with Kaseya to investigate the incident.

But the sprawl of the hack seems to be tripping up the hackers themselves. The initial ransom demands the hackers made of approximately $50,000 per victim didn’t appear to be working. By Sunday, the hackers announced they would accept a lump sum of $70 million from all the victims in order to get the businesses back up and running—the largest extortion demand that’s ever been made publicly. Hours later, though, when cybersecurity consultant Jack Cable reached out to the gang, the hackers changed their tune again, suggesting that a $50 million payment would suffice—and Cable hadn’t even asked for a price drop, he told The Daily Beast.

“It could just be that…they’re in over their head there,” said Jack Cable, a consultant at cybersecurity consulting firm Krebs Stamos Group. “It seems like this didn’t go exactly as planned.”

Charles Carmakal, who is investigating the ransomware attack, told The Daily Beast the hackers are likely starting to feel a bit frantic as the days wane on.

“They’re frustrated right now. They probably, from their perspective, thought, ‘holy shit, this is such an amazing, well-executed operation, we hit some number—hundreds, maybe a thousand-plus........

© The Daily Beast

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