FBI: More than 250 companies have already become victims of Bitcoin ransomware Akira

Reports from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicate a surge in the spread of a new ransomware called Akira. This malicious program has already affected over 250 companies worldwide, demanding ransom payments in bitcoins. The ransomware infiltrates corporate systems through virtual private networks (VPNs) and proceeds to steal sensitive information while also blocking access to computers on the local network.

As a result of the Akira ransomware’s widespread reach, hackers have managed to obtain more than $42 million worth of bitcoins. Originally targeting Windows-based computer systems, the ransomware has now expanded to include a Linux version.

In response to this alarming situation, the FBI, in collaboration with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3), and the Netherlands National Cyber Security Center (NCSC-NL), has released a security advisory. Businesses and individuals are strongly advised to take precautions such as regularly backing up data, implementing multi-factor authentication, disabling unused ports, and ensuring all systems are properly encrypted.

Prior to the prevalence of Akira, cybersecurity experts discovered a vulnerability in the Hedgey Finance DeFi protocol. Attackers exploited this vulnerability and managed to withdraw $1.9 million, although the actual extent of the losses may be much greater.