Affected Dutch SMEs are concerned about the consequences of a major cyber attack last weekend. Many cyber security officials have been receiving calls regarding the hack. Insurers who have contracts with cyber security officials are also regularly called.
“Many customers ask: What now?” Says Dave Masland, director of the Dutch division of cyber security company ESET. The company estimates that hundreds of Dutch small and medium-sized businesses have fallen victim to the attack and estimates the damage at hundreds of thousands of euros. ESET has identified 17 affected countries worldwide. The United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States are in the top 3, while the Netherlands is in tenth place.
Pim Duckenberg, general manager of cybersecurity company Northwave Netherlands, believes it will take some time for the extent of the damage to become clear. According to him, it is about the consequences for companies affected by the failure to fulfill contracts with customers. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the damage is in the millions.” Happenbrewer, a broadband technology service provider, previously reported damage of between half a million and one million euros.
On the night of Friday to Saturday, it was revealed that a Russian-linked hacker group called Revil was able to distribute ransomware from Ghazia via so-called VSA software. It manages many of the companies’ IT systems. Customers of those companies may also be affected by the hack. Criminals use a ransomware called ransomware to encrypt recovery systems. It is not yet known whether there are any Dutch companies that have paid the ransom, ESET says.
ESET’s security software determined that there was unauthorized access to the systems, counting dozens of affected companies, but assumes that the actual number is too high as companies have customers again. “The smoke will actually increase in the coming days,” Masland said. ESET could not say which companies were involved. Duckenberg says a few companies have also come forward and they have been affected. He is unspeakable. Phone calls about the hack are received by insurers with Northwave contracts. ESET was “more exciting than usual” with questions from the companies involved.
The system is short
The types of businesses affected range from business services to logistics, as well as retail stores, ESET and Northwave say. According to Masland, it is not yet possible to say whether the affected companies are operating again or are still down. Affected companies known to Norway are back in business. “Very unusual, usually a company is down for a few weeks,” says Duckenberg. According to him, the culprits may have been on the computers for only a very short time and this means that no data was stolen.
According to Masland, “everything indicates” that the hacking team wants to be ready quickly. Revil says they have affected 1 million systems themselves, but they are only asking for $ 70 million in redemption in bitcoin. By comparison, major meat processor JBS paid $ 11 million in redemption of bitcoin after a cyberotack last month.
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