Affected Dutch SMEs are concerned about the consequences of last weekend’s massive cyber attack. Many cybersecurity officers receive calls about the hack. Insurance companies with which cybersecurity officers have contracts are also constantly called in.
“Many customers ask: What now?” says Dave Masland, director of the Dutch division of cybersecurity firm ESET. This company believes that hundreds of small and medium-sized Dutch companies have become victims of the attack and estimates the damages in the 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, and the Netherlands is in tenth place.
Pim Takkenberg, general manager of cybersecurity firm Northwave Netherlands, believes it will take some time before the extent of the damage becomes clear. According to him, this is about the consequences for companies affected by the possible failure to fulfill agreements with customers. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the damage is in the millions.” Technical services provider Brabant Hoppenbrouwer previously announced damages ranging from half a million to one million euros.
During the night from Friday to Saturday, it was revealed that a Russia-linked hacker group known as REvil was able to distribute the ransomware via the so-called VSA software from Kaseya. Manages several corporate IT systems. Customers of these companies may also be affected by the hack. Criminals use ransomware, also known as ransomware, to encrypt systems for ransom. It is also not yet known if any Dutch companies have paid ransoms, ESET says.
ESET, whose security software has identified unauthorized access to systems, has counted dozens of the same affected companies, but believes the actual number is much higher because the companies have customers again. “The smoke will really rise in the coming days,” Masland said. ESET could not identify the companies involved. Takkenberg says a few companies have also come forward which are also affected. Which he cannot say. Phone calls about the hack are also being received by insurance companies with which Northwave has contracts. ESET is also “busier than usual” with questions from the companies involved.
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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 determine whether the businesses affected are operating again or if they remain idle. Northwave’s known affected companies are back in business. “It’s unusual, usually a company is down for a few weeks,” Takkenberg says. According to him, this indicates that the criminals may have been in the systems for a very short time and did not steal any data at all.
According to Masland, “everything indicates” that the hacking group wants to be ready quickly. REvil claims to have infected 1 million systems themselves, but they are only asking for $70 million in bitcoin as ransom. By way of comparison, major meat processing company JBS paid $11 million in bitcoin ransom after a cyber attack last month.
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