By Raphael Satter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ransomware-hit IT company Kaseya said Sunday it had hired cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc to help cope with the aftermath of a major security breach that affects hundreds of companies around the world.

In a message posted on its website, Miami-based Kaseya said that its employees “have been actively working with FireEye and other safety assessment firms” to the attack that struck on Friday and quickly spread across the globe.

FireEye has confirmed to Reuters that it is partnering with Kaseya.

The full impact of the break-in at Kaseya is still in focus, also because the affected Kaseya software tool is used by so-called managed service providers who outsource shops that other companies do for their IT back-office work, such as installing updates use .

Swedish grocery chain Coop had to close hundreds of stores on Saturday because its cash registers are operated by Visma Esscom, which manages servers for a number of Swedish companies and uses Kaseya.

A cybersecurity manager said 350 customers had been attacked in his company alone.

“The two largest regions we’ve seen are the US and Germany,” said Ross McKerchar, chief information security officer of Sophos Group Plc

The targets included schools, small public institutions, travel and leisure organizations, credit unions and accountants, he said.

McKerchar said the wave of break-ins is another example of how difficult it is for midsize businesses to beat back better-funded cybercriminals.

“Small businesses are inferior when it comes to cybersecurity,” he said.

(Reporting by Raphael Satter; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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