Another Global Cyberattack Hits Computers

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, June 30, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Approximately thousands of computer users across the globe scrambled to reboot last 28 June as calls grew to step up defenses after a fresh wave of ransomware cyberattacks spread from Ukraine and Russia worldwide.

The virus, which demanded a payment worth US$ 300 as it locked up files at companies and government agencies including the Chernobyl nuclear site, was reminiscent of the WannaCry ransomware that swept the world a few weeks ago, hitting more than 200,000 users in more than 150 countries.

The latest attack appeared much smaller in scale, with global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab estimating the number of victims at 2,000. There was no immediate indication of who was responsible.

The director of European police agency Europol, Rob Wainwright, said there were "clear similarities" with the WannaCry incident but warned that there were also "indications of a more sophisticated attack capability intended to exploit a range of vulnerabilities".

Some IT specialists identified the newcomer as "Petrwrap", a modified version of ransomware called Petya which circulated last year. But Kaspersky described it as a new form of ransomware.

And after a fresh cyberattack challenged security worldwide for the second time in just a few months there were international demands for greater focus on battling the issue.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the situation "underlines the importance of strengthening our cyber defenses" as he warned hacking attacks could potentially trigger the US-led bloc's mutual defense commitment.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the incident proves Russian demands for "cooperation" were justified as "no country can now effectively deal with the cyber-threat alone".

In Ukraine, where the attacks were first reported and appeared most severe, the government said the attack had been halted by Wednesday morning, but key organisations were still reporting problems.

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

"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.

Despite the assurances, employees at the Chernobyl nuclear site were continuing to use hand-held Geiger counters to measure radiation levels after the monitoring system was shut down by the hack.

Online arrivals and departures information for Kiev's main Boryspil airport also remained down, but its director said the hub was otherwise fully operational.

Meanwhile, systems at the major lender Oschadbank still appeared crippled, while a delivery service and energy supplier said they were also facing some difficulties.


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