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New ransomware cyberattack is rapidly spreading across Europe

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June 27, 2017

We just learned this morning that a new cyberattack similar to WannaCry is spreading rapidly across Europe, hitting major companies from Rosneft in Moscow to Maersk in Copenhagen.

While the ransomware is spreading, it's also disrupting government systems in Kiev and Moscow, making a bad situation worse.

According to the Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB, over eighty-two companies in Russia and the Ukraine are affected so far by the Petya virus. It disabled computers today and the ransomware told users to pay $300 in Bitcoin to unlock them.

Telecom operators and retailers were also affected and the attack is spreading rapidly in a similar manner to the WannaCry attack last month.

The intrusion is the largest in the Ukraine’s history, said Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to the Interior Ministry. The goal was “the destabilization of the economic situation and in the civic consciousness of the Ukraine,” though it was “disguised as an extortion attempt,” he asserted.

Kremlin-controlled Rosneft, Russia’s largest crude producer, said in a statement that it avoided “serious consequences” from the “hacker attack” by switching to “a backup system for managing production processes.”

Maersk, the operator of the world’s largest marine and rail shipping container line, said its customers can’t use online booking tools and its internal systems are down. The attack is affecting multiple sites and units, which include a major port operator and an oil and gas producer, spokeswoman Concepcion Boo Arias asserted.

Kievenergo, a Ukrainian utility, switched off all computers after the cyber attack, while another power company, Ukrenergo, was also affected, though “not seriously.”

Ukrainian airports and railways are operating as usual, according to a Russian news service. Ukrainian delivery network Nova Poshta halted service to clients after its network was infected, the company said.

Ukraine’s Central Bank warned on its website that several banks had been targeted by hackers. The new virus has a fake Microsoft digital signature appended to it and the attack is spreading to many countries, asserted Costin Raiu, director of the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Labs.

Source: Kaspersky Lab.

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