On July 2nd 2021 the US company Kaseya with offices in Miami, Florida, suffered a cyberattack which they described as “a potential attack on VSA”, their star product, a management and monitoring software.
Kasaya is a world supplier and one of the most important in the US.
A considerable sized ransomware overtook this software making Kaseya having to partially take down their base so as to avoid further damage.
Hundreds of users were alerted immediately. Early on 200 affected companies were mentioned, however this figure increased to thousands as assessed by the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), considering the supply chain included in another 16 countries such as Sweden, UK, Canada, and Germany.
In Sweden the cash registers of the supermarket chain Coop stopped functioning and 800 stores had to be closed. At least 8 companies servicing hundreds of others may have been “compromised” (The New York Times).
The cyber pirates obviously requested a ransom. There is talk of millions and hundreds of thousands dollars depending of the size of the affected company.
There was an immediate reaction by president Joseph Biden ordering an investigation of this new attack to go ahead.
On May 12th 2021 Joseph Biden, as President of the United States of America, signed an Executive Order on improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.
It objective is “to identify, detect, protect against and respond to these actions and actors” as a reaction to cyberattacks suffered since the beginning of his administration which obtained a large amount of classified information with Solar Winds and other attacks such as on the Colonial Pipeline and JBS as I explain in detail in my article “Cybersecurity: the future wars have started”.
The Government’s effort to improve and guarantee cybersecurity was accompanied by a request to the Congress for 10 billion dollars for that objective.
Military cybersecurity requires a separate mention.
Joseph Biden, the USA President, and Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, met in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, 2021 and discussed this matter and there was an attempt to show this as an “entente cordiale”.
An agreement was made to reestablish mutual ambassadors, not to return to the Cold War, about the having a nuclear confrontation being an unacceptable possibility, and the benefits of exchanging opinions on cybersecurity. Vladimir Putin said in the press conference which followed the meeting: “there is work to be done”.
Hardly a few weeks after President Joe Biden asked Vladimir Putin to slowdown the cybercrimes, a notorious cybercriminal band has been accused of carrying out an audacious attack on the global software supply chain (William Turton on Bloomberg, Urgente 24).
In my opinion, cybersecurity has become a new enhanced National Security matter.
The cyber pirates have attacked central security areas of American society, its food, gas/fuel supply, its technology and management.
Facing this situation the ransom payments themselves become less significant.
Paraphrasing Bill Clinton, another Democrat President, we can summarize and conclude by saying: it’s the supply chains, stupid.