Ransomware virus hits computer servers across Europe

Danish shipping company Maersk said systems were down across multiple sites.

"Petya spread via email spam with booby-trap@kkped (Microsoft) Office documents.The documents, once opened, will download and run the Petya installer and execute the Server Message Block (SMB) worm to spread to other computers", SingCERT said.

ABC 7 NY notes that Merck has a location in the Ukraine, but doesn't speculate as to whether or not this is how the Petrwrap ransomware made its way onto the company's systems in America.

However, there have been no reports of attacks in India till now.

A photo from a DLA office in the United States showed a whiteboard message warning employees that "all network services are down" and not to "turn on your computers".

Early reports indicated the virus affected major companies in Russian Federation and Ukraine as well as the world's largest shipping firm, Maersk, according to the affected companies and government sources.

The Russian oil giant Rosneft was hit, as was the British advertising and marketing multinational WPP.

A massive cyberattack that freezes computers and demands a ransom to open them has hit companies in the USA and around the world today, US officials and private cybersecurity analysts say.

The ransomware authorities believe may have been used in Tuesday's attack is called Petya.

Un Français parmi les 63 victimes du gigantesque feu de forêt — Portugal
Le Premier ministre grec Alexandre Tsipras a promis à Lisbonne "toute l'aide nécessaire" de la part des équipes de pompiers grecs. Attisé par le vent et l'air brûlant, le feu a échappé rapidement à tout contrôle. "Je connaissais plusieurs victimes.

The strikes follow the global ransomware assault involving the WannaCry virus that affected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries, as extortionists demanded US$300 in bitcoin from victims. "Our preliminary findings suggest that it is not a variant of Petya ransomware as publicly reported but a new ransomware that has not been seen before", the group said.

In either case, experts warn that it could spread globally, raising fears of another widespread attack like the WannaCry outbreak that struck in May.

Australia's cyber security minister Dan Tehan said the fresh attack was a wake-up call for Australian businesses to regularly back up their data and install the latest security patches.

"Petya is different and could be much worse", said Morey Haber, vice president of technology at BeyondTrust."The main takeaway is that WannaCry only had one method to propagate".

Experts say the virus is exploiting the same weaknesses as the Wannacry ransomware used to attack the NHS.

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

A number of Ukrainian banks and companies, including the state power distributor, were hit by a cyber attack that disrupted some operations, the Ukrainian central bank said.

The vast majority of affected private firms are based in the Ukraine, with Ukranian prime minister Volodymyr Groysman branding the attacks "unprecedented".

Petya is a type of cyber attack that encrypts computer data and overwrites hard drives to make booting into systems impossible, according to the Kaspersky Lab. MeDoc then sent an infected file to customers. "In connection with the irregular situation, some flight delays are possible", Dykhne said in a post on Facebook. Ordinary Ukrainians reported being unable to use some banking services. One consumer lender, Home Credit, had to suspend client operations.

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