REvil, a known Russian hacking group, has gone offline — only days after U.S. President Joe Biden mandated that Russian President Vladimir Putin handle the cybercrime taking place in his country, a report from Decrypt said on Tuesday (July 13).
Per Decrypt, The New York Times reported that REvil’s site had vanished without a trace and that there wasn’t any indication thus far on who was responsible for the disappearance — though some theories have it that Biden told the U.S. Cyber Command to incapacitate and remove the group’s sites, or that it was Putin who ordered the takedown after the recent Geneva meeting in which he and Biden spoke.
A report from Decrypt said that the main issue has to do with ransomware, referring to the type of crime where hackers take control of computers and lock access until a ransom is paid.
The ransom is often requested in bitcoin or an alternative cryptocurrency As cryptocurrency is hard to track.
REvil leveled an onslaught of attacks on U.S. companies in recent weeks, notably against IT firm Kaseya. In that case, there were 200 companies affected that were associated with Kaseya’s software.
REvil said there had been over a million systems affected by its attack.
It also followed a May attack in which the U.S.-based meatpacker JBS was hit. The attack yielded an $11 million ransom paid to free the services.
Ransomware has been on the rise as of late, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic’s general increase in cybercrime. Hackers have managed to pull around $33 million in bitcoin from this practice just this year.
But cyberattacks don’t seem to be on the wane — recent reports have an attack on fashion brand Guess exposing users’ personal financial information.
The attack reportedly happened between February 2 and February 23 of this year.
To offer help, the company has emailed users complimentary identity theft protection, and has said it is working with authorities and to strengthen its protections. The data breach affected around 13,000 people.