Kaseya attack hit up to 1,500 businesses, says CEO

Up to 1,500 businesses around the world have been affected by a ransomware attack on the U.S. IT firm Kaseya over the weekend.

The anonymous hackers who claimed responsibility have demanded $70 million dollars to restore all the affected businesses' data, although they've said they're willing to negotiate.

Kaseya's CEO Fred Voccola told Reuters Monday it was hard to estimate just how big the impact of the attack may be, as those primarily affected were customers of Kaseya's customers.

He refused to say whether he was ready to take the hackers up on the offer.

"I can't comment yes, no, or maybe and I'll tell you, the reason for that is, you know, I'm not an expert in this, you know, it's, I'm not a ransom expert. I've never, you know, I don't do this for a living. There are people that do it for a living. We listen to the FBI. We listen to Homeland. We take their advice. And the advice is we have absolutely no comment either way, no one's contacted us."

Kaseya sells software tools to IT outsourcing shops - the businesses that often handle back-office work for companies too small to have their own tech departments.

One of those tools was hijacked on Friday, allowing hackers to paralyze hundreds of businesses across five continents, from hundreds of supermarkets in Sweden to schools in New Zealand.

Voccola said neither he nor investigators had seen any sign of hackers monitoring Kaseya's communications prior to the attack.