800 Swedish supermarket chains closed after cyberattack in the United States

800 Swedish supermarket chains closed after cyberattack in the United States

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800 Swedish supermarket chains closed after cyberattack in the United States

First modification: 07/05/2021 – 00:13

The Swedish Coop supermarket chain was the first company to announce that it was severely affected by the ransomware attack or data hijacking on a US technology provider. This left the company unable to operate their cash registers, so they had to temporarily close their stores.

The consequences of the cyberattack in the United States on Kaseya, a technology service provider company, are being felt internationally. Hundreds of companies have been affected, including the Swedish Coop supermarket chain.

According to Coop, one of Sweden’s largest chains, one of the tools used to remotely update its cash registers was affected by the cyberattack, so the stores were unable to accept payments and had to temporarily close.

“We have been troubleshooting and restoring all night, but we have communicated that we will have to keep the stores closed today,” Coop spokeswoman Therese Knapp told Swedish television.

The cyberattack involved the hijacking of widely used technology management software by Miami-based Kaseya.

The Swedish news agency TT reported that Kaseya was used by the Swedish company Visma Esscom, which manages servers and devices for various companies in Sweden.

Even the services of state railways and a chain of pharmacies also suffered some interruptions and unforeseen events.

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish media that the attack was “very dangerous” and argued that companies and state agencies needed to improve their security and methodology.

“In a different geopolitical situation, it may be government actors who attack us in this way to shut down society and create chaos,” he said.

In the cyberattack that occurred on June 2, hackers changed a Kaseya tool called VSA, used by companies that manage digital services for smaller businesses. Then, they simultaneously encrypted the files of those providers’ customers, promising to decrypt them in exchange for payment.

Biden orders to allocate “all resources” to investigate the cyber attack

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, ordered this Saturday to direct “all the resources of the federal government” to investigate the cyberattack against the Kaseya company and acknowledged that they are still not sure who could be behind the events.

“The initial idea is that it was not the Russian government, but we are still not sure,” Biden told reporters during a visit to the state of Michigan.

In addition, the president pointed out that, in the meeting he had with the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, he had warned him that if Washington considers that the Kremlin is responsible for actions like this, the United States will respond.

Kaseya, a software company that serves more than 40,000 organizations around the world, confirmed on Saturday that its systems management platform, called VSA, suffered a “sophisticated” cyberattack.

The company insisted on calling its clients to immediately shut down their servers “until further notice,” adding that they are already working together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on what happened.

With Reuters, AFP and EFE