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Palo Alto and Other Cybersecurity Shares Rise After Kaseya Ransomware Attack

Shares of cybersecurity-focused companies including FireEye, Palo Alto Networks and Check Point Software are rising following a cyberattack on software provider Kaseya.

Shares of cybersecurity-focused companies including FireEye  (FEYE) , Palo Alto Networks  (PANW) , CrowdStrike  (CRWD)  gained on Tuesday following a weekend cyberattack on software provider Kaseya, in which Russian hackers have demanded $70 million to restore data.

FireEye shares were up 1.23% in early Tuesday trading while shares of Palo Alto Networks, CrowdStrike and Checkpoint Software also were higher after Russia-linked hackers reportedly launched the massive cyberattack.

The hack is the latest and most dramatic in a series of high-profile ransomware attacks this year, exposing the pandemic-style threat that this type of cybercrime poses to companies and governments. 

Hundreds of companies were directly hit by the supply-chain attack on Kesaya's VSA software, which provides IT services to small and medium-sized businesses, according to CNET. At least 36,000 companies were indirectly impacted.

The Coop, one of Sweden's largest grocery chains, had to close 800 of its stores, according to The New York Times.

The $70 million ransomware demand was posted to a dark-web blog typically used by REvil, the Russia-linked cybercrime gang behind the attack that crippled the U.S. operations of meat processor JBS Meat  (JBSAY) .

Colonial Pipeline earlier this year was forced to halt operations along its entire 5,500-mile conduit carrying gasoline and other fuels from the Gulf Coast to the New York metro area after it was hit by a cyberattack dubbed Malware Monday.

It paid a ransom of $5 million to get its systems running again, though the Department of Justice last month said it had recovered most of the ransom payment made by Colonial Pipeline, which was paid in Bitcoin.

At last check, shares of FireEye were up 1.38% at $20.62. Shares of Palo Alto Networks were up 2.61% at $382.56, while shares of Crowdstrike were up 3.57% at $261.62.