Ransomware attack in Europe again: Companies hit by the cyber terror

Investigators work at the scene of a car bomb explosion which killed Maxim Shapoval a high-ranking official involved in military intelligence in Kiev Ukraine

Investigators work at the scene of a car bomb explosion which killed Maxim Shapoval a high-ranking official involved in military intelligence in Kiev Ukraine

(Microsoft recently released a patch meant to address this flaw.) That exploit made its way into the wild after a group calling itself The Shadow Brokers dumped what it said was a suite of NSA hacking tools on the internet in April. Join Hacked.com for just $39 now. Botezatu said the new program appeared to be almost identical to GoldenEye, itself a variant of a known family of hostage-taking programs known as "Petya". The so-called "Petya" virus has hit major companies and countries, locking their data until money is paid. According to Bleeping Computer, the outbreak is now smaller than WannaCry although it's still a considerable attack.

"If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible, because they have been encrypted". Petya has been seen in the past but reports suggest this is a new, updated version inspired by WannaCry. If the vulnerabilities exploited by WannaCry were patched, as Microsoft took fairly extreme measures to do, GoldenEye/Petya would have been a footnote instead of a headline. Avira, another security firm, likewise linked today's ransomware to an exploit used in the Wannacry attack.

Dubbed Petya, the ransomware freezes hard drives and demands that computer owners infected by the epidemic make a payment of $300 to unlock their data.

Attackers have already received almost $7,000 in ransom payments.

"Countries affected so far are Ukraine, Russia, France, Spain and Denmark". Journalist Christian Borys stated on Twitter that banks, postal services, and airports, among others, were hit.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko said the government's computer network had gone down and the central bank said a operation at a number of banks and companies, including the state power distributor, had been disrupted by the attack.

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Several multinational companies said Tuesday they were targeted in a massive wave of cyberattacks which started in Russian Federation and Ukraine before spreading to western Europe. The country's National Bank was among the first to report a problem. State-run aircraft maker Antonov told Reuters it's also been hit, although it didn't clarify how bad the situation was.

Kyivenergo, a Ukrainian utility, switched off all computers after the hack, while another power company, Ukrenergo, was also affected, though "not seriously", the Interfax news service reported.

"The hacking attack could lead to serious consequences, but the company has moved to a reserve production processing system and neither oil output nor refining have been stopped". It also announced authorities have already been contacted.

"Obviously, if it is confirmed that the EternalBlue is the only spreading mechanism, there will be inevitable questions about how organizations could still fall to this attack after all the publicity and support tools... that were produced as part of the WannaCry response", Marco Cova, senior security researcher at Lastline, a Redwood City, California, cybersecurity firm, said in a statement.

Beyond Ukraine and Russian Federation, the wave of cyberattacks also impacted Maersk, a global cargo shipping company and Saint-Gobain, a French company producing construction materials and British-based WPP.

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