Ransomware gang websites have vanished from the internet.
The group recently demanded a huge bitcoin ransom for an attack targeting IT firm Kaseya
The websites of a ransomware gang linked to Russia that has been blamed for attacks on hundreds of firms around the world have gone down.
According to monitors, the REvil group’s payment website and blog were down for the count on Tuesday.
The cause of the disappearance is uncertain, but it has raised concern that the group was targeted by authorities on purpose.
It comes as the US and Russia face increasing criticism over cyber-crime.
After discussing the problem during a conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva last month, US President Joe Biden claimed he brought it up with Vladimir Putin during a phone chat on Friday.
Mr. Biden told reporters that he had “made it very clear to him…we expect them to respond” on information, adding that the US might take direct digital reprisal against infiltration servers.
The timing of Tuesday’s outage has spurred speculation that either US or Russian officials may have taken action against REvil, though officials have so far declined to comment, and cyber experts say abrupt group disappearances are not uncommon.
This comes after a slew of high-profile ransomware assaults this year that have targeted prominent US corporations.
An enormous skirt
REvil is one of the most well-known and dreaded ransomware gangs, so if this is truly the end, it’s a huge deal.
The rumor mill is in overdrive as to what’s behind the sudden closure, but one hacker who claims to be a gang affiliate provided me with some information. I haven’t been able to establish his identity, but other scholars believe his statements are very credible.
He alleges that the US “Feds” took down parts of their websites, prompting them to shut down the rest of their business. He further claimed that the Kremlin was exerting pressure, stating, “Russia is wary of the United States and other countries weeping to them.”
We must take any hacker accusations with a grain of salt, but if this scenario proves to be true, it is a significant shift in policy from Russia, which has hitherto been content to sit back and let gangs like REvil operate without fear of intervention.
Another remark from my contact, though, also points to the bigger picture. He claims he has no plans to retire and is currently working on a new project. He warned, “Make one go away, and more will rise.”