Ransomware Hackers Demand $70 Million to Unlock Computers in Widespread Attack

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The boss of the company at the heart of a widespread hack that has affected hundreds of businesses said he briefed the White House and that attackers are demanding a single $70 million ransomware payment.

The cyberattack that started to unfold Friday is estimated to have hit hundreds of mostly small and medium-size businesses and tens of thousands of computers. It quickly set off alarms in U.S. national security circles over concern that it could have far-reaching effects.

On Monday, Fred Voccola, the chief executive of Kaseya Ltd., whose software was targeted in the attack, spoke with Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger about the event while the company was still scrambling to restore services to its customers, Mr. Voccola said. Mr. Voccola told the White House that Kaseya wasn’t aware of any critical infrastructure that had been hit by the ransomware or of any victims related to national security, he said in an interview Monday.

A White House spokeswoman didn’t immediately comment.

The hackers behind the ransomware attack said that, upon payment, they will release a “universal decryptor” that would unlock computers that had been encrypted and rendered unusable by the attack, according to a note posted to the group’s website Sunday. Mr. Voccola declined to discuss the payment issue.

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