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Massive cyberattack hits global companies, causes turmoil

 

A major cyber attack worldwide disrupted computers at Russia’s biggest oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms on Tuesday, reported CNBC.

The virus used is similar to the ransomware attack last month that infected more than 300,000 computers, according to cybersecurity experts.

The widespread cyberattack apparently targeting Ukraine rippled across Europe and spread to computer systems of banks and major companies in Russia, Britain and elsewhere, according to the report.

US-based pharmaceutical major Merck tweeted that its computer network “was compromised … as part of the global hack.” Mondelēz International also reported a “global IT outage,” telling CNBC that all of its phone lines were out because they’re connected to its computer network.

Many security researchers initially linked the attack to ransomware known as Petya, which was previously advertised for sale on top-tier Russian criminal forums. But Kaspersky Lab, a leading Russian security software company, said Tuesday night that it was, in fact, “a new ransomware that has never been seen before.”

The cyber extortion campaign included a code known as “Eternal Blue,” which cyber security experts widely believe was stolen from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and was also used in last month’s ransomware attack, named “WannaCry” said a report in India Today.

The ransomware virus crippled computers running Microsoft Corp’s Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, then demanded $300 in bitcoin payments to restore access, it added.

More than 30 victims paid into the bitcoin account associated with the attack, according to a public ledger of transactions listed on blockchain.info.

Microsoft said the virus could spread through a flaw that was patched in a security update in March, according to the report.

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