On July 22, Kaseya announced they had received the decryption key for REvil ransomware 20 days after the group launched an attack on the systems of companies that used Kaseya’s software. According to Kaseya, New-Zealand based security firm Emsisoft confirmed the decryption tool does unlock files encrypted with REvil. An unnamed Kaseya customer claimed to have paid a ransom for a REvil decryption key last week but was unable to decrypt files with the key provided. REvil routinely sold its ransomware as a service to third party criminal gangs but has recently disappeared from the dark web and shut down their leak site. Kaseya representatives stated they received the decryption key from a trusted third party but have not commented on if they paid the $70 million ransom demand. Law enforcement agencies and government officials have not commented on whether the US government assisted Kaseya in obtaining the decryption key.
Although REvil ransomware has disappeared, there are new ransomware groups showing up every week and new attacks taking place every day. The US government has vowed to take aggressive steps to protect US critical infrastructure from future attacks. Organizations should also initiate proactive measures to ensure they are protected from ransomware. The US DHS website, stopransomware.gov, has links to resources that help organizations protect their systems from intrusions that lead to ransomware. To protect against ransomware attacks, organizations should regularly back up data, air gap, and password protect backup copies offline. Ensure copies of critical data are not accessible for modification or deletion from the system where the data resides. Implement network segmentation. Implement a recovery plan to maintain and retain multiple copies of sensitive or proprietary data and servers in a physically separate, segmented, secure location (i.e., hard drive, storage device, the cloud). Install updates/patch operating systems, software, and firmware as soon as practical after they are released. Implement monitoring of security events on employee workstations and servers, with a 24/7 Security Operations Center to detect threats and respond quickly. Use multifactor authentication where possible. Use strong passwords and regularly change passwords to network systems and accounts, implementing the shortest acceptable timeframe for password changes. Avoid reusing passwords for multiple accounts. Focus on cyber security awareness and training. Regularly provide users with training on information security principles and techniques as well as overall emerging cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.