Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Another big malware attack ripples across the world

Hackers strike across Europe, sparking widespread disruption New highly virulent strain of ransomware cripples networks
Kayla Schwartz | 28 June, 2017, 23:19

The series of cyberattacks began in Russian Federation and Ukraine on Tuesday, hitting government and corporate computer systems across the world as the virus spread to western Europe and across the Atlantic.

But the new attack appeared much smaller in scale, with global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab estimating the number of victims at 2,000.

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck, the world's second largest such firm, confirmed on Twitter that its computer network was compromised on Tuesday in the global attack.

Like WannaCry, the origins of "Petya" - also called NotPetya, Nyetya, and PetrWrap - lie in a Microsoft vulnerability that was exploited for years by the National Security Agency before being stolen and then revealed by the Shadow Brokers hacking group in April. "Our server made a virus attack" - though this was later removed, and the company has since denied its software was exploited.

Anyone hit by Petya should not make the payment that hackers are requesting, as "there is now little chance files can be recovered by paying the ransom", MalwareTech, the British security researcher who helped put a stop to last month's WannaCry attack by activating that ransomware's built-in kill switch, noted on his blog yesterday.

"The large-scale cyberattack on corporate and government networks that happened yesterday on June 27 has been stopped", the government said in a statement.

A global cyber attack, which is being linked to the WannaCry ransomware, has affected several companies and countries.

Among the victims of the attack were the Ukrainian central bank, Russian oil giant Rosneft, British advertising firm WPP and USA law firm DLA Piper. The ransom note uses the same Bitcoin address for all victims, unlike most ransomware attacks that create a unique payment address for each victim. Ukraine, which was hardest hit and where the attack likely originated, said it had secured critical state assets - though everyday life remained affected, with cash machines out of order and airport displays operating manually.

Chelsea first opponents for Spurs at new 'home' Wembley
It looks like former United forward Hatem Ben Arfa, now at Paris Saint-Germain, will be on the move again this summer. They also criticised the timing of the announcement for television fixtures, which will be released on July 10.

In India, one of the terminals at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) port has been impacted, prompting the authorities to contain the disruption in fire-fighting mode.

After WannaCry, governments, security firms and industrial groups advised businesses and consumers to make sure all their computers were updated with Microsoft (MSFT.O) security patches.

"The situation is under the complete control of cybersecurity experts and they are now working on recovering lost data", it said, adding that all "strategic enterprises" were functioning as normal.

The email account associated with the ransomware has been blocked, so even if victims pay, they won't get their files back.

Europol said it is investigating the attack as well.

Give us your Bitcoins Computers hit with the malware show a message demanding a ransom payment of around NZ$500 in Bitcoin. If the infected device is part of a network, isolate it as soon as possible, to prevent the spread of the virus to other nodes in the network. And a Maersk facility for shipping containers in the Indian port city of Mumbai was shut down.

Ransomware is big business for the criminal gangs behind the attacks.

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